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THE LIBRARY 
OF 

THE UNIVERSITY 

OF CALIFORNIA 

LOS ANGELES 

GIFT OF 



Professor Ma lb one W, Graham 



SERMONS 



SERMONS 

RICHARD CORDLEY, D.D. 

FOR THIRTY-EIGHT YEARS PASTOR OF 
PLYMOUTH CHURCH, LAWRENCE. KANSAS 



Published by the Church, 1912 




THE PILGRIM PRESS 

BOSTON NEW TORK CmCAQO 



Copyright, 191 2, 
By Luther H. Gary 



THE RUMFORD PRESS 
CONCORD • N • H • USA- 



V^5 



TABLE OF CONTENTS 

PAGE 

Introduction: Richard Cordley, An Appreciation . . vii 

I. " When Jesus Was Born in Bethlehem." Matt. 

2:1 I 

II. "Come Unto Me." Matt. 11 :28 13 

Lawrence, 1899, 

III. " Which of You by Taking Thought Can Add 

One Cubit to his Stature ? " Matt. 6:27 27 
Lawrence, 1 893. 

IV. "It Doth Not Yet Appear What We Shall Be." 

I John 3:2 41 

Lawrence, 1867. 
Emporia, 1 880. 

V. "The Mutual F.aith of You and Me." Rom. 

I : 12 56 

Lawrence, 1902. 

VI. "He Steadfastly Set His Face to Go to 

Jerusalem." Luke 9 151 71 

Lawrence, 1904. 

VII. "Hold Fast the Profession of Your Faith." 

Hebrews 10 : 23 83 

VIII. "The Days of Our Ye.uis." Ps. 90 : to ... 97 

Lawrence, New Year, 1903. 

"I Will Remember all the Way." Deut. 8:2 106 
Lawrence, Memorial Day, 1904. 

Nuggets 119 



9063S0 



AN APPRECIATION 

BY WM. L. BURDICK 

OF THE UNIVERSITY OF KANSAS 

TN THE summer of 1856, when the nation 
■*■ could already see the coming flames of 
civil war, and when the struggle of patriots 
to make Kansas free was at its height, four 
devoted young men, Sylvester Storrs, Groves- 
nor Morse, Rosewell Parker, and Richard 
Cordley, students at Andover Theological 
Seminary, consecrated themselves to their 
country's cause. They were dubbed "The 
Kansas Band," and the crusaders of old fol- 
lowed the banner of the cross with no greater 
loyalty, fervency, and zeal, and in no deeper 
spirit of self-sacrifice, than did these young 
men, when putting behind them the promise 
of more lucrative pastorates in the East, 
they gladly pledged themselves to the work of 
the churches in Kansas. They asked for no 
desirable or congenial locations, for no fixed 
compensation, but only for an opportunity to 
serve. Upon graduation they entered with 
enthusiasm upon their work, and their influence 
in the upbuilding of the new state can never 



AN APPRECIATION 



be estimated. It is to the glory of Congrega- 
tionalism that her churches were the first to 
enter the disputed territory, and that the edu- 
cational institutions of the state were, in their 
early history, fostered by "The Kansas Band 
of Andover." 

Of the four original members of this band, 
Sylvester Storrs became the Home Missionary 
Supt. in Kansas, and gave heroic service dur- 
ing the hard pioneer years. Grovesnor Morse 
located at Emporia, and literally gave his life 
to the labor of establishing the State Normal 
School there. Rosewell Parker went to Man- 
hattan, and materially aided in building up 
the State Agricultural College in that com- 
munity. Richard Cordley, the subject of this 
sketch, began his work at Lawrence, taking 
charge of Plymouth Church, the first church 
building erected in the state, and for forty-four 
years (thirty-eight of which were spent in 
Lawrence, and an interval of six years at 
Emporia) he served the people of Kansas with 
such love and devotion that his memory will 
ever remain to them a benediction. 

The incidents of his early life were typical 
of the sons of sturdy western pioneers. He was 
of English birth, being born in Nottingham, 
Sept. 6, 1829, but his parents emigrated to 
America when he was only four years old. 



AN APPRECIATION Ix 

The family located about fifteen miles south- 
west from Ann Arbor, Michigan, and there in 
the wilderness, three miles from his nearest 
neighbor, the father of Richard Cordley built 
his log-cabin. There were no roads, and they 
found their way only by means of blazed trees. 
The early years were marked with hard strug- 
gles, and the wolf was often at the door. He 
was nine years old before he saw the inside of 
a school-house, yet like so many boys who have 
risen from youthful hardship to influential 
manhood, he was blessed with a mother of 
rare intelligence and devotion. She carefully 
taught her children, and her gentle Christian 
character was an inspiration to them. 

When nine years old he attended his first 
school which was kept in a log-house built 
by the efforts of his father. A few years later 
he was enabled to attend school in Ann Arbor 
every winter, and, finally, after the overcom- 
ing of many difficulties, he entered the Uni- 
versity of Michigan. He mostly made his 
own way through college, working every spare 
hour and also during vacations. He graduated, 
with honors, in 1854, and three years later he 
graduated from the theological school at 
Andover. At the seminary, the vacation 
periods were, even as at college, only opportuni- 
ties for work, and during the vacations at 



AN APPRECIATION 



Andover, he was, at different times in the serv- 
ice of the American Sunday School Union in 
Pennsylvania; in charge of the mission station 
of the church at South Danvers, now Peabody; 
and in the employ of the City Missionary 
Society of Hartford. When he graduated from 
Andover, in 1857, he had "never," to use his 
own words, "had a real vacation" in his life. 

He went to Lawrence that same year. He 
had received a call to the church at Ann Arbor, 
the location of his alma mater, but true to his 
purpose to give his all to the cause of Kansas, 
he declined a salary two or three times as much 
as the little home-missionary church at Law- 
rence paid, and gladly threw in his lot with 
his chosen people. After a year in Lawrence, 
he returned to his Michigan home for the pur- 
pose of bringing back with him his bride. 
Mrs. Cordley's patient, faithful, loyal sym- 
pathy and intelligent cooperation were ever a 
tower of strength to her husband, and for her 
unselfish devotion during the years of the early 
troublous times, and for her services of love 
to all people, the city of Lawrence and Ply- 
mouth Church owe lasting gratitude. 

From the beginning of his pastorate, Richard 
Cordley attracted all classes by the originality 
and sympathetic quality of his sermons. He 
was peculiarly fitted for his work. Himself 



AN APPRECIATION xi 

the son of a pioneer, he understood his people 
and his training and experience enabled him 
to enter into the life of all, the mechanic, the 
farmer, the student, the university professor. 
Throughout his long ministry he never, as a 
rule, preached doctrinal sermons, but he 
preached the great, loving fatherhood of God, 
and the Christian democracy of all His chil- 
dren. He was a man of great spirituality, 
and because he was spiritual he saw the depths 
of familiar texts, and the child and the sage 
were alike profited by his sermons. He was 
called by many the "Nugget Preacher," by 
reason of the thoughts of pure gold with which 
his discourses abounded. 

During the years of the war, Lawrence was 
practically an armed camp. It was at this 
period that his sermons rang with vigorous 
patriotism, and that he was known as the 
"Abolition Preacher." He held services in 
camp, visited the sick in the hospitals, and even 
took his turn standing guard at the block-house. 
It was eminently fitting that after the close of 
the war the local Grand Army Post made him 
its permanent chaplain, and that his grave is 
now annually decorated on Memorial Day as 
that of a comrade. 

On the terrible day of Friday, Aug. 21, 1863, 
known as the day of Quantrill's raid, he was 



xii AN APPRECIATION 



one of those whose life was particularly sought, 
owing to his pronounced stand for the cause of 
the Union and for the freedom of the slave. 
No pen can adequately portray the horrors of 
that morning. Like a tornado, a band of 
cowardly assassins, mostly Missouri guerillas, 
led by a fiend in human-shape, the despicable 
Quantrill, burst upon the doomed town, and 
without warning began their awful work of 
pillage, arson, robbery, and murder. They 
shot down in cold blood the unarmed citizens, 
set fire to the homes and places of business, 
and plundered the shops and dwelling-houses. 
They robbed the dead, and tore wedding-rings 
from women's hands. The mangled forms of 
their dead and dying victims they hurled into 
the blazing flames of the dwellings. Never 
was there a more horrid butchery of human 
beings in the history of civilization, character- 
ized as it was with all the shocking and revolt- 
ing brutality of blood-thirsty savages. They 
stayed not the bullet and the torch in their 
cowardly and barbarous slaughter till they 
had out-shamed an Indian massacre. It was 
the culmination of the border-ruffianism of the 
war, and the defenseless and innocent citizens 
of Lawrence were sacrificed to the cause of 
liberty merely because they were the represen- 
tatives of the advocates of human freedom. 



AN APPRECIATION 



Richard Cordley escaped death by fleeing 
across the river, but his little white cottage 
was burned to the ground. One of the great 
regrets of Quantrill and his fellow-murderers 
on that day was their failure to kill the "aboli- 
tion preacher." 

The services of Richard Cordley to education 
were state-wide. He was one of the founders 
of Washburn College, at Topeka, and was one 
of its trustees as long as he lived. He gave 
liberally of his time and of his money to its 
cause. In 1871, he was elected its president, 
but he yielded to the entreaties of Plymouth 
Church and remained in Lawrence. To the 
State University he was always a devoted 
friend. The first degree bestowed by the uni- 
versity was that of Doctor of Divinity upon 
Richard Cordley. 

His work as a historian was also of high 
character. His books upon "Pioneer Days in 
Kansas," and "A History of Lawrence, Kan- 
sas," are valuable contributions to the history 
of the middle-west. The modesty which al- 
ways marked his gentle spirit is noticeable in 
his writings. He wrote with self-effacement, 
seldom speaking of himself. 

The greatest thing in Richard Cordley was 
himself. The beauty of his character was re- 
flected everywhere. The test of preaching is 



xiv AN APPRECIATION 

not scholarship, not eloquence, but helpfulness. 
Richard Cordley helped all who ever heard 
him speak because he spoke from the heart. 
He was simplicity itself, but was always intel- 
ligently progressive and in touch with modern 
scholarship. In young manhood he freed him- 
self from the shackles of ancient creeds, and 
under the influence of his preaching, Plymouth 
Church adopted a broad, tolerant covenant as 
the test of admission to its membership rather 
than a subscription to a dogmatic creed. He 
believed in men and loved them, always see- 
ing some good in everyone. His influence has 
left its mark upon the spiritual and intellec- 
tual life not only of his city and of his state, 
but also, in view of his work in the pioneer 
days, he is justly entitled to national fame in 
Congregationalism. 

He died July ii, 1904, aged seventy-five 
years, the last survivor of the "Andover 
Band." 



SERMONS 
I 

"when JESUS WAS BORN IN BETHLEHEM*' 
Matt. 2: I 

V\ T^HEN Jesus was born in Bethlehem, it 
' ' seemed a very ordinary event. Very 
few people knew about it, and very few people 
cared about it. The town of his birth was an 
obscure village apart from all the centers of 
interest. It had been the birthplace of kings, 
but it was not a kingly place. The family 
from which he sprung was also obscure and 
unknown. It was of royal lineage, but the 
lineage involved no heirship. So little did 
his coming impress men that even the time 
of his birth was not noted. We do not know 
the day of the month, nor the month of the 
year, nor even the year in the century. We 
may even go farther than this and say, we do 
not know the century. The village of Beth- 
lehem itself did not know of his birth. For 
when Herod sought him that he might destroy 
him, he could not find him. The neighbors 
in that little village could not tell of the king 



SERMONS 



who had been born among them. The world 
lay ignorant of its Redeemer, and unconscious 
of its redemption. The great world went on as 
before while he who was to transform it was 
an obscure child, in an obscure home, in an 
obscure town. 

"When Jesus was born in Bethlehem," there 
were but few who knew of it. The rulers knew 
nothing of it. Herod and his officers knew noth- 
ing of it. The priests and elders knew nothing 
of it. Weeks after they could only tell of 
the prophecy concerning it. But some sim- 
ple shepherds, watching the stars, and watch- 
ing their flocks by night, heard the story 
and heard the song. To them the heavens 
were full of messengers, and the air was full of 
music. A multitude of the heavenly host ap- 
peared, confirming the word of the angel, and 
joining in the song of the night; "Glory to God 
in the Highest — Peace on Earth — Good will 
to men." It is significant that when Jesus was 
born in Bethlehem, the news was first told to 
laboring men. It was not to the owners of the 
sheep, nor to the proprietors of the soil. But 
the message came to poor shepherds whose toil 
took them from their homes, men whose life 
and whose living was to watch their flocks by 
night. In their simple life, close to Nature's 
heart, they heard the voice of Nature's King. 



SERMONS 



They had no opinions to set aside, no inter- 
ests to subserve, no pride to overcome. They 
listened simply to the story, and received and 
reported it just as it came to them. 

"When Jesus was born in Bethlehem," there 
were others waiting for the news in the Holy 
City itself. It was not the High Priest. He 
was expecting, as the Prophets had foretold. 
But he was looking towards ambitions and pre- 
ferments and power. It was not the Jewish 
council. They, too, were counting the days of 
prophetic promise, but looking in the line of 
national glory and personal promotion. But 
there were devout souls who had purer instincts 
and clearer insight. There was Simeon who 
had read the prophets in the light of his own 
spiritual life and had been assured that he 
should see the Lord's Christ. He had come 
to realize that the fulness of time had come. 
When he saw the child, he took him in his arms 
and blessed God, and said, "Now let thy serv- 
ant depart in peace, for mine eyes have seen 
thy salvation." There was Anna also, the 
prophetess, a good soul, who dwelt with God, 
and who had come to feel the impulse of God 
upon her. These devout souls knew the signs 
of the times, as one sometimes feels the signs 
of morning before the morning light appears. 
She felt the currents of Providence, and knew 



SERMONS 



the movements of God, as if a voice had spoken 
to her. 

"When Jesus was born in Bethlehem," there 
were still others looking for the coming of the 
King. Far away, over the eastern mountains, 
were men who had caught the world's expecta- 
tion. They had heard of the prophecies, and 
they were studying the signs. As the shep- 
herds watched their flocks, they watched the 
stars. As was customary among the sages of 
those eastern lands, they spent their nights 
under the open heavens, and watched them as 
they rose and set. Never since perhaps, have 
the stars been so carefully observed, as by the 
astronomers of those early ages. We know 
more of the philosophy of the stars, but they 
knew more of the stars. Every variation was 
marked. Every new phase was watched and 
its meaning sought. These men of patient 
contemplation had heard of the Star of Jacob — 
the Star of Israel. At this time some new star, 
or new phase appeared in the sky. In the 
limited range of their knowledge, there was no 
analogy and no comparison. It seemed to 
them a new light with no antecedent. Pos- 
sibly our modern methods might have traced it 
out, but they had nothing but what they could 
see. When they sought to interpret it, they 
thought of the world's expectation — the com- 



SERMONS 



ing of the King. So they began their long 
journey towards the setting sun. After months 
of weary travel, they came in sight of the great 
Western Sea, and turned their steps towards 
Jerusalem, the City of the Great King. There 
they were more minutely instructed, and were 
led to where the young child was. While the 
nation to which he came was unconscious of 
his presence; while the keen search of the 
Roman police failed to discover him; while 
his very neighbors were unaware of his prox- 
imity, these sages from far away had made 
their long journey to the little town of Beth- 
lehem, and the very house where he lay. And 
when they came into the house, "they saw 
the young child with Mary his mother and 
fell down and worshipped him. And when they 
had opened their treasures, they presented 
unto him gifts, gold, frankincense and myrrh." 
Thus "when Jesus was born in Bethlehem," 
men of widely different localities, and widely 
different conditions, knew of his coming, and 
recognized his presence. First the shepherds 
in their nightly watch over their sheep found 
him in the manger, as the angel had said. 
Then a little later, a few devout souls in Jeru- 
salem knew him as he was brought into the 
temple. And a few months later still, the 
sages from the far east found him and knew 



SERMONS 



him as they were guided by the Star. All 
these men were about their common occupa- 
tions when the news, or the impression, came 
to them. The shepherds were keeping watch 
over their flocks by night. Simeon and Anna 
were attending to the service of the temple as 
was their wont. The sages were studying the 
stars after the manner of their class. Others 
were looking for him, but each for a human pur- 
pose. The chief priests were watching for 
him as a medium of power and promotion; 
Herod was soon seeking for him that he might 
destroy him. But these men were about their 
regular occupations. They were doing the 
work which belonged to their lot. As they 
faithfully wrought in the line of their calling, 
this larger thing was revealed to them. Many 
wise men in Judea studied hard that they might 
know what manner of person the Messiah 
should be and yet they did not know him when 
they saw him. Men of influence and power 
in the Jewish state, and in the Jewish Church, 
watched diligently for his appearance, but they 
saw not the star and knew not the King. But 
shepherds about their nightly work; devout 
souls about their daily service; sages engaged 
in their usual study, became aware of the com- 
ing of a new Era — the coming of a new light. 
Away from the selfish world; away from the 



SERMONS 



maddening crowd, they became conscious of 
a new force, and a new condition among men. 
Somehow the heavens brightened; somehow 
the earth glowed ; somehow hope began to dawn. 
These children of nature saw and felt the in- 
coming of a new day, and recognized the day- 
star and the dawn. The vision came to toilers 
by night, to devotion by day, to students afar. 
The new order was made known to the labor, 
to the devotion, to the intelligence of men. 
The shepherds might represent the work, Sim- 
eon the worship, and the sages the intelli- 
gence of mankind. 

The message of Jesus has always been com- 
ing to men apart from their condition. The 
poor heard him gladly from the very start. 
Publicans and sinners flocked to him, while 
Pharisees mocked and scribes derided. In all 
the years since, the toiling millions have rested 
their cause with him. Every struggle for jus- 
tice wins by an appeal to him. Every strug- 
gle for better conditions finds its justification 
in him. All life is glorified, and all toil is 
honored by the word of him whose life was with 
the lowly, and whose lot was with the poor. 
It was a wonderful illustration of the impar- 
tiality of God that he should leave the city to 
slumber, while he sent his message to shepherds 
who kept watch over their flocks by night. 



SERMONS 



He dignified toil and toilers for all time by that 
wonderful display. Toil may exult, and pov- 
erty lift its head, for the King of Glory was 
born a peasant, and to peasants the first an- 
nouncement was made. The Providence of 
God has always taught the same lesson. The 
children of toil have often been the instru- 
ments of his Providence, and the poor have 
often stood in the line of light. The call of 
God has come to men of low estate, and the 
honors of God have rested on men of humble 
condition. 

"When Jesus was born in Bethlehem," pov- 
erty ceased to degrade and toil ceased to dis- 
qualify. The highest honors of Heaven came 
to the lowliest tribes of earth. Jesus was poor. 
There could be none poorer than he. His 
father was a carpenter, his mother a peasant 
girl of Galilee. He had not where to lay his 
head. Often they had no bread as they wan- 
dered over the hills of Judea. But this de- 
tracted not one whit from the dignity of his 
person, or the manliness of his presence. He 
taught with the same authority; he bore him- 
self with the same assurance; he awed men with 
the same signs of power. And yet with all 
this were the tokens and the signs of tender- 
ness and sympathy. 

Jesus was poor, yet made many rich. He 



SERMONS 



had nothing, and yet was heir of all things. 
He received nothing, yet gave gifts to men. 
The heritage he won for himself, he won for all 
men. 

"When Jesus was born in Bethlehem," devo- 
tion received a new sanction. Then, as ever 
since, devout hearts knew him. They who seek 
God are always drawn to Jesus. They who 
trust God believe in Him. Simeon only saw 
him and he knew him. Devout hearts needed 
only to see him. Put Jesus before them and 
they recognize the features. He is what they 
are looking for. He presents to them what 
they are struggling to attain. You have often 
had the hazy image of an idea in your mind, 
but could not give it form. Some one else has 
expressed the thought, and your own mind 
was clarified. The hazy shadow takes form 
in our thought when another gives utterance. 
In their light we see light. 

When we see Jesus it seems as if we had 
always known him. We had been struggling 
for such a conception, but never seized it. 
But looking at him our shadowy images take 
form, and our fragmentary thoughts find a 
content. He is the substance of our best 
hopes, the reality of our best ideals. To all 
sincere seekers, Jesus is his own witness. He 
bears his own credentials in voice and step. If 



10 SERMONS 



the historic testimony should be lost, and 
Jesus should stand, without date or location 
or historic environment, he would still approve 
himself to men for all he claims to be. Devout 
souls would still receive him. As he came into 
the temple of their lives, though they knew 
not whence, nor by whom, they could bless 
God for the sight. Not every one can trace 
the line of historic connection. But all can 
understand him as he stands before them. 
No matter when — no matter whence — no mat- 
ter how — he is his own best evidence, and his 
own best exposition. Simeon knew not who 
he was, nor whence he came, and yet he knew 
him as he entered the temple. The whence, 
and the when and the where may be mysteries, 
but the personality may be plain. 

"When Jesus was born in Bethlehem," the 
sages were aware of his coming. Jesus ap- 
pealed to the learning of the world, as well as 
to its devotion. He has ever satisfied the intel- 
ligence of men. Other faiths have faded in 
the dawn of intelligence. The religion of 
Jesus is intelligible to the simple, and yet sat- 
isfies the intelligent. The larger the light, 
the brighter it shines. No intensity of light 
has shown defects in Jesus. He seems the 
more perfect the more clearly we see him. 
Advancing civilization does not pass beyond 



SERMONS II 



him. Enlarging knowledge does not outgrow 
him. Progressive study does not leave him 
behind. He is always abreast of the best 
thought. The highest ideal of personal duty 
will find itself foreshadowed by him. The 
highest conception of social order will still 
look to him for its model. 

Thus the coming of Jesus appealed to these 
three classes: the shepherds and the prophets 
and the sages. It appealed to the poor, the 
pious and the intelligent; to them that toiled, 
to them that prayed, to them that thought. 
It has come down the centuries with the same 
appeal. These may represent the three classes 
of men. In all the centuries Christ has ful- 
filled the intimation of his childhood. 

He appeals to us in the same way. He ap- 
peals first to our intelligence. He himself is 
beyond question. Cut him adrift from all 
historic connection, and he justifies himself 
to the intelligence of men. Your study of the 
stars, and your study of the earth, and your 
study of men, lead you to him. Every human 
condition needs him; every human problem 
calls for him. Your thinking will be without 
a center if you think without him. Human 
society will be "a muddle" if God be not 
in the center. And your devout instincts 
need him. For you have devout instincts even 



12 SERMONS 



if you are not devout. There is a prophet in 
your soul whether you let him speak or not. 
There is a prophet in every man's soul. The 
prophet within you will know Jesus when he 
comes into the temple of your thought. When 
your intelligence finds him, the prophet within 
you will know him. 

When your intelligence finds him, and your 
soul shall receive him, then your hands shall 
serve him. Intelligence and devotion and labor 
serve him. Intelligence and devotion and 
labor shall join in serving him who came from 
God. The three classes which recognized 
Jesus when he was born in Bethlehem, — the 
sages with their wisdom, the Simeons with 
their devotion, and the shepherds with their 
labor — shall find a parallel in your life. Intel- 
ligence shall find the Lord, devotion shall ac- 
cept him and labor shall serve him. The 
day when Jesus was born in Bethlehem shall 
be eclipsed by the day when Jesus is born in 
your life. For the scene in Bethlehem is 
nothing to you till you have made it your own. 
The world's Christmas was when Jesus was 
born in Bethlehem, but your Christmas will 
be when Jesus shall come into your life. Then 
you with the sages shall find him; with the 
prophets you shall receive him, and with the 
shepherds you shall serve him. 



II 

"come unto me" 

Matt. 2:28 

OOME one has said that these three words 
^^ more nearly express the attitude of Jesus 
to mankind than any words that could be 
chosen. It is the attitude of invitation — which 
is the permanent attitude of Jesus. He knew 
he had something to give men, and wanted 
them to come and get it. He knew he could do 
something for men, and he wanted them to 
come and receive it. He could not look upon 
a multitude but he was moved with compas- 
sion. He could never see people about him 
but he felt impelled to teach them. He could 
never see people in want or in trouble but he 
was impelled to help them. Thus he bore 
himself through all his earthly life. 

But Jesus came from God. He was the 
Word, which was with God in the beginning. 
He expressed God to men. He was in time 
what he was in Eternity. God's eternal 
thought was vocalized in the life of Jesus 
Christ. God makes himself known in a great 
many ways. He makes known his power and 
wisdom in his works. He makes known his 

13 



14 SERMONS 



law in the human conscience. He makes 
known his sovereignty and providence in 
history and Hfe. But Jesus Christ is the final 
and full expression. "Here the whole Deity 
is known. We see God in the face of Jesus 
Christ." 

And Jesus spoke for all the ages. It is quite 
remarkable that so few of the teachings of Jesus 
are local and temporary. The truths he taught 
are of universal application. What Jesus said 
of God is forever and everywhere true. God 
is now and forever what he seems in Jesus 
Christ. The attitude of Jesus is the attitude 
of the eternal throne. Whenever a man comes 
to God he can expect to be met in the spirit of 
Jesus Christ. 

"The homage that we render thee 
Is still our Father's own; 
No jealous claim or rivalry 

Divides the Cross and Throne." 

God's attitude is forever the inviting atti- 
tude; and God's voice is forever saying, "Come 
unto me." 

And God calls us because he wants us; he 
wants our lives; he wants our love; he wants 
our service. 

First of all: Christ wants us ourselves. There 
are some things to which a man gives a spec- 
ified service, and there are other things to 



SERMONS 15 



which he gives himself. A man gives his em- 
ployer a specified number of hours. He gives 
his teacher a fair knowledge of certain les- 
sons. He owes his friends certain social obli- 
gations. In many directions he has limited 
responsibilities. But to his home he gives 
himself. He does not give sections of himself 
to the things he loves. If his child be sick he 
will sit by its bedside day and night, and his 
last dollar and the last dollar he can get is at 
its service. It is not, "I will give two hours 
a day, or so much a week," but, "all I have, 
and all I can do." All he is and all he has are 
on demand that his child may be restored. 
There is no measure and no limit, except the 
measure and limit of ability. This is what it 
means to give one's self. This is the measure 
of all the highest obligations. And this is the 
spirit of all the best service, of all service that 
is trust-worthy and reliable. In some such 
sense Christ wants you. It is not a section 
of your personality, or of your time, or of your 
means, but he wants you yourself, with all 
which that implies. 

And as Paul says, "This is your reasonable 
service." It is reasonable you should give 
yourself to your home, for your life is wrapped 
up in your home. It is reasonable you should 
give yourself to your country, for your country 



i6 SERMONS 



has in its keeping all that you have and are. 
And it is reasonable you should give yourself 
to God, for God is the giver of all you have and 
the foundation of all you hope for. This con- 
secration does not determine what you shall 
do, but it determines the spirit of whatever 
you may do. You may serve your home in 
any one of a thousand different employments, 
but you are at its call for anything it may need. 
You may serve your country by being a good 
citizen, and attending steadily to the work you 
are engaged in, but you are at her call for spe- 
cial service whenever she may need you. You 
may be called upon to serve on the jury, to 
serve as special police in case of disturbance, 
or to go abroad as a soldier in case she is 
threatened by foreign foes. You may serve 
God in your home and in your daily calling, 
but you are at the call of God to serve him in 
whatever line his providence may lead you. 
His claims are higher than the claims of coun- 
try, for he made your country all it is. His 
claims are higher than the claims of home. 
God's gifts and God's care have made home 
possible to you. He wants you with all you 
have and all you are. He wants you with your 
country, that you may serve your country in 
his name. He wants you with your home, that 
your home may itself belong to God and be a 



SERMONS 
I 

"when JESUS WAS BORN IN BETHLEHEM" 

Matt. 2: I 

A^T'HEN Jesus was born In Bethlehem, it 
' ' seemed a very ordinary event. Very 
few people knew about it, and very few people 
cared about it. The town of his birth was an 
obscure village apart from all the centers of 
interest. It had been the birthplace of kings, 
but it was not a kingly place. The family 
from which he sprung was also obscure and 
unknown. It was of royal lineage, but the 
lineage involved no heirship. So little did 
his coming impress men that even the time 
of his birth was not noted. We do not know 
the day of the month, nor the month of the 
year, nor even the year in the century. We 
may even go farther than this and say, we do 
not know the century. The village of Beth- 
lehem itself did not know of his birth. For 
when Herod sought him that he might destroy 
him, he could not find him. The neighbors 
in that little village could not tell of the king 



SERMONS 



who had been born among them. The world 
lay ignorant of its Redeemer, and unconscious 
of its redemption. The great world went on as 
before while he who was to transform it was 
an obscure child, in an obscure home, in an 
obscure town. 

"When Jesus was born in Bethlehem," there 
were but few who knew of it. The rulers knew 
nothing of it. Herod and his officers knew noth- 
ing of it. The priests and elders knew nothing 
of it. Weeks after they could only tell of 
the prophecy concerning it. But some sim- 
ple shepherds, watching the stars, and watch- 
ing their flocks by night, heard the story 
and heard the song. To them the heavens 
were full of messengers, and the air was full of 
music. A multitude of the heavenly host ap- 
peared, confirming the word of the angel, and 
joining in the song of the night; "Glory to God 
in the Highest — Peace on Earth — Good will 
to men." It is significant that when Jesus was 
born in Bethlehem, the news was first told to 
laboring men. It was not to the owners of the 
sheep, nor to the proprietors of the soil. But 
the message came to poor shepherds whose toil 
took them from their homes, men whose life 
and whose living was to watch their flocks by 
night. In their simple life, close to Nature's 
heart, they heard the voice of Nature's King. 



SERMONS 



They had no opinions to set aside, no inter- 
ests to subserve, no pride to overcome. They 
listened simply to the story, and received and 
reported it just as it came to them. 

"When Jesus was born in Bethlehem," there 
were others waiting for the news in the Holy 
City itself. It was not the High Priest. He 
was expecting, as the Prophets had foretold. 
But he was looking towards ambitions and pre- 
ferments and power. It was not the Jewish 
council. They, too, were counting the days of 
prophetic promise, but looking in the line of 
national glory and personal promotion. But 
there were devout souls who had purer instincts 
and clearer insight. There was Simeon who 
had read the prophets in the light of his own 
spiritual life and had been assured that he 
should see the Lord's Christ. He had come 
to realize that the fulness of time had come. 
When he saw the child, he took him in his arms 
and blessed God, and said, "Now let thy serv- 
ant depart In peace, for mine eyes have seen 
thy salvation." There was Anna also, the 
prophetess, a good soul, who dwelt with God, 
and who had come to feel the impulse of God 
upon her. These devout souls knew the signs 
of the times, as one sometimes feels the signs 
of morning before the morning light appears. 
She felt the currents of Providence, and knew 



SERMONS 



the movements of God, as if a voice had spoken 
to her. 

"When Jesus was born in Bethlehem," there 
were still others looking for the coming of the 
King. Far away, over the eastern mountains, 
were men who had caught the world's expecta- 
tion. They had heard of the prophecies, and 
they were studying the signs. As the shep- 
herds watched their flocks, they watched the 
stars. As was customary among the sages of 
those eastern lands, they spent their nights 
under the open heavens, and watched them as 
they rose and set. Never since perhaps, have 
the stars been so carefully observed, as by the 
astronomers of those early ages. We know 
more of the philosophy of the stars, but they 
knew more of the stars. Every variation was 
marked. Every new phase was watched and 
its meaning sought. These men of patient 
contemplation had heard of the Star of Jacob — 
the Star of Israel. At this time some new star, 
or new phase appeared in the sky. In the 
limited range of their knowledge, there was no 
analogy and no comparison. It seemed to 
them a new light with no antecedent. Pos- 
sibly our modern methods might have traced it 
out, but they had nothing but what they could 
see. When they sought to interpret it, they 
thought of the world's expectation — the com- 



SERMONS 



ing of the King. So they began their long 
journey towards the setting sun. After months 
of weary travel, they came in sight of the great 
Western Sea, and turned their steps towards 
Jerusalem, the City of the Great King. There 
they were more minutely instructed, and were 
led to where the young child was. While the 
nation to which he came was unconscious of 
his presence; while the keen search of the 
Roman police failed to discover him; while 
his very neighbors were unaware of his prox- 
imity, these sages from far away had made 
their long journey to the little town of Beth- 
lehem, and the very house where he lay. And 
when they came into the house, "they saw 
the young child with Mary his mother and 
fell down and worshipped him. And when they 
had opened their treasures, they presented 
unto him gifts, gold, frankincense and myrrh." 
Thus "when Jesus was born in Bethlehem," 
men of widely different localities, and widely 
different conditions, knew of his coming, and 
recognized his presence. First the shepherds 
in their nightly watch over their sheep found 
him in the manger, as the angel had said. 
Then a little later, a few devout souls in Jeru- 
salem knew him as he was brought into the 
temple. And a few months later still, the 
sages from the far east found him and knew 



SERMONS 



him as they were guided by the Star. All 
these men were about their common occupa- 
tions when the news, or the impression, came 
to them. The shepherds were keeping watch 
over their flocks by night. Simeon and Anna 
were attending to the service of the temple as 
was their wont. The sages were studying the 
stars after the manner of their class. Others 
were looking for him, but each for a human pur- 
pose. The chief priests were watching for 
him as a medium of power and promotion; 
Herod was soon seeking for him that he might 
destroy him. But these men were about their 
regular occupations. They were doing the 
work which belonged to their lot. As they 
faithfully wrought in the line of their calling, 
this larger thing was revealed to them. Many 
wise men in Judea studied hard that they might 
know what manner of person the Messiah 
should be and yet they did not know him when 
they saw him. Men of influence and power 
in the Jewish state, and in the Jewish Church, 
watched diligently for his appearance, but they 
saw not the star and knew not the King. But 
shepherds about their nightly work; devout 
souls about their daily service; sages engaged 
in their usual study, became aware of the com- 
ing of a new Era — the coming of a new light. 
Away from the selfish world; away from the 



SERMONS 



maddening crowd, they became conscious of 
a new force, and a new condition among men. 
Somehow the heavens brightened; somehow 
the earth glowed ; somehow hope began to dawn. 
These children of nature saw and felt the in- 
coming of a new day, and recognized the day- 
star and the dawn. The vision came to toilers 
by night, to devotion by day, to students afar. 
The new order was made known to the labor, 
to the devotion, to the intelligence of men. 
The shepherds might represent the work, Sim- 
eon the worship, and the sages the intelli- 
gence of mankind. 

The message of Jesus has always been com- 
ing to men apart from their condition. The 
poor heard him gladly from the very start. 
Publicans and sinners flocked to him, while 
Pharisees mocked and scribes derided. In all 
the years since, the toiling millions have rested 
their cause with him. Every struggle for jus- 
tice wins by an appeal to him. Every strug- 
gle for better conditions finds its justification 
in him. All life is glorified, and all toil is 
honored by the word of him whose life was with 
the lowly, and whose lot was with the poor. 
It was a wonderful illustration of the impar- 
tiality of God that he should leave the city to 
slumber, while he sent his message to shepherds 
who kept watch over their flocks by night. 



8 SERMONS 



He dignified toil and toilers for all time by that 
wonderful display. Toil may exult, and pov- 
erty lift its head, for the King of Glory was 
born a peasant, and to peasants the first an- 
nouncement was made. The Providence of 
God has always taught the same lesson. The 
children of toil have often been the instru- 
ments of his Providence, and the poor have 
often stood in the line of light. The call of 
God has come to men of low estate, and the 
honors of God have rested on men of humble 
condition. 

''When Jesus was born in Bethlehem," pov- 
erty ceased to degrade and toil ceased to dis- 
qualify. The highest honors of Heaven came 
to the lowliest tribes of earth. Jesus was poor. 
There could be none poorer than he. His 
father was a carpenter, his mother a peasant 
girl of Galilee. He had not where to lay his 
head. Often they had no bread as they wan- 
dered over the hills of Judea. But this de- 
tracted not one whit from the dignity of his 
person, or the manliness of his presence. He 
taught with the same authority; he bore him- 
self with the same assurance ; he awed men with 
the same signs of power. And yet with all 
this were the tokens and the signs oC tender- 
ness and sympathy. 

Jesus was poor, yet made many rich. He 



SERMONS 



had nothing, and yet was heir of all things. 
He received nothing, yet gave gifts to men. 
The heritage he won for himself, he won for all 
men. 

"When Jesus was born in Bethlehem," devo- 
tion received a new sanction. Then, as ever 
since, devout hearts knew him. They who seek 
God are always drawn to Jesus. They who 
trust God believe in Him. Simeon only saw 
him and he knew him. Devout hearts needed 
only to see him. Put Jesus before them and 
they recognize the features. He is what they 
are looking for. He presents to them what 
they are struggling to attain. You have often 
had the hazy image of an idea in your mind, 
but could not give it form. Some one else has 
expressed the thought, and your own mind 
was clarified. The hazy shadow takes form 
in our thought when another gives utterance. 
In their light we see light. 

When we see Jesus it seems as if we had 
always known him. We had been struggling 
for such a conception, but never seized it. 
But looking at him our shadowy images take 
form, and our fragmentary thoughts find a 
content. He is the substance of our best 
hopes, the reality of our best ideals. To all 
sincere seekers, Jesus is his own witness. He 
bears his own credentials in voice and step. If 



10 SERMONS 



the historic testimony should be lost, and 
Jesus should stand, without date or location 
or historic environment, he would still approve 
himself to men for all he claims to be. Devout 
souls would still receive him. As he came into 
the temple of their lives, though they knew 
not whence, nor by whom, they could bless 
God for the sight. Not every one can trace 
the line of historic connection. But all can 
understand him as he stands before them. 
No matter when — no matter whence — no mat- 
ter how — he is his own best evidence, and his 
own best exposition. Simeon knew not who 
he was, nor whence he came, and yet he knew 
him as he entered the temple. The whence, 
and the when and the where may be mysteries, 
but the personality may be plain. 

"When Jesus was born in Bethlehem," the 
sages were aware of his coming. Jesus ap- 
pealed to the learning of the world, as well as 
to its devotion. He has ever satisfied the intel- 
ligence of men. Other faiths have faded in 
the dawn of intelligence. The religion of 
Jesus is intelligible to the simple, and yet sat- 
isfies the intelligent. The larger the light, 
the brighter it shines. No intensity of light 
has shown defects in Jesus. He seems the 
more perfect the more clearly we see him. 
Advancing civilization does not pass beyond 



SERMONS II 



him. Enlarging knowledge does not outgrow 
him. Progressive study does not leave him 
behind. He is always abreast of the best 
thought. The highest ideal of personal duty 
will find itself foreshadowed by him. The 
highest conception of social order will still 
look to him for its model. 

Thus the coming of Jesus appealed to these 
three classes: the shepherds and the prophets 
and the sages. It appealed to the poor, the 
pious and the intelligent; to them that toiled, 
to them that prayed, to them that thought. 
It has come down the centuries with the same 
appeal. These may represent the three classes 
of men. In all the centuries Christ has ful- 
filled the intimation of his childhood. 

He appeals to us in the same way. He ap- 
peals first to our intelligence. He himself is 
beyond question. Cut him adrift from all 
historic connection, and he justifies himself 
to the intelligence of men. Your study of the 
stars, and your study of the earth, and your 
study of men, lead you to him. Every human 
condition needs him; every human problem 
calls for him. Your thinking will be without 
a center if you think without him. Human 
society will be "a. muddle" if God be not 
in the center. And your devout instincts 
need him. For you have devout instincts even 



12 SERMONS 



if you are not devout. There Is a prophet in 
your soul whether you let him speak or not. 
There is a prophet in every man's soul. The 
prophet within you will know Jesus when he 
comes into the temple of your thought. When 
your intelligence finds him, the prophet within 
you will know him. 

When your intelligence finds him, and your 
soul shall receive him, then your hands shall 
serve him. Intelligence and devotion and labor 
serve him. Intelligence and devotion and 
labor shall join in serving him who came from 
God. The three classes which recognized 
Jesus when he was born in Bethlehem, — the 
sages with their wisdom, the Simeons with 
their devotion, and the shepherds with their 
labor — shall find a parallel in your life. Intel- 
ligence shall find the Lord, devotion shall ac- 
cept him and labor shall serve him. The 
day when Jesus was born in Bethlehem shall 
be eclipsed by the day when Jesus is born in 
your life. For the scene in Bethlehem is 
nothing to you till you have made it your own. 
The world's Christmas was when Jesus was 
born in Bethlehem, but your Christmas will 
be when Jesus shall come into your life. Then 
you with the sages shall find him; with the 
prophets you shall receive him, and with the 
shepherds you shall serve him. 



II 

"come unto me" 

Matt. 2: 28 

OOME one has said that these three words 
^^ more nearly express the attitude of Jesus 
to mankind than any words that could be 
chosen. It is the attitude of invitation — which 
is the permanent attitude of Jesus. He knew 
he had something to give men, and wanted 
them to come and get it. He knew he could do 
something for men, and he wanted them to 
come and receive it. He could not look upon 
a multitude but he was moved with compas- 
sion. He could never see people about him 
but he felt impelled to teach them. He could 
never see people in want or in trouble but he 
was impelled to help them. Thus he bore 
himself through all his earthly life. 

But Jesus came from God. He was the 
Word, which was with God in the beginning. 
He expressed God to men. He was in time 
what he was in Eternity. God's eternal 
thought was vocalized in the life of Jesus 
Christ. God makes himself known in a great 
many ways. He makes known his power and 
wisdom in his works. He makes known his 

13 



14 SERMONS 



law in the human conscience. He makes 
known his sovereignty and providence in 
history and life. But Jesus Christ is the final 
and full expression. "Here the whole Deity 
is known. We see God in the face of Jesus 
Christ." 

And Jesus spoke for all the ages. It is quite 
remarkable that so few of the teachings of Jesus 
are local and temporary. The truths he taught 
are of universal application. What Jesus said 
of God is forever and everywhere true. God 
is now and forever what he seems in Jesus 
Christ. The attitude of Jesus is the attitude 
of the eternal throne. Whenever a man comes 
to God he can expect to be met in the spirit of 
Jesus Christ. 

"The homage that we render thee 
Is still our Father's own; 
No jealous claim or rivalry 

Divides the Cross and Throne." 

God's attitude is forever the inviting atti- 
tude; and God's voice is forever saying, "Come 
unto me." 

And God calls us because he wants us; he 
wants our lives; he wants our love; he wants 
our service. 

First of all: Christ wants us ourselves. There 
are some things to which a man gives a spec- 
ified service, and there are other things to 



SERMONS 15 



which he gives himself. A man gives his em- 
ployer a specified number of hours. He gives 
his teacher a fair knowledge of certain les- 
sons. He owes his friends certain social obli- 
gations. In many directions he has limited 
responsibilities. But to his home he gives 
himself. He does not give sections of himself 
to the things he loves. If his child be sick he 
will sit by its bedside day and night, and his 
last dollar and the last dollar he can get is at 
its service. It is not, "I will give two hours 
a day, or so much a week," but, "all I have, 
and all I can do." All he is and all he has are 
on demand that his child may be restored. 
There is no measure and no limit, except the 
measure and limit of ability. This is what it 
means to give one's self. This is the measure 
of all the highest obligations. And this is the 
spirit of all the best service, of all service that 
is trust- worthy and reliable. In some such 
sense Christ wants you. It is not a section 
of your personality, or of your time, or of your 
means, but he wants you yourself, with all 
which that implies. 

And as Paul says, "This is your reasonable 
service." It is reasonable you should give 
yourself to your home, for your life is wrapped 
up in your home. It is reasonable you should 
give yourself to your country, for your country 



1 6 SERMONS 



has in its keeping all that you have and are. 
And it is reasonable you should give yourself 
to God, for God is the giver of all you have and 
the foundation of all you hope for. This con- 
secration does not determine what you shall 
do, but it determines the spirit of whatever 
you may do. You may serve your home in 
any one of a thousand different employments, 
but you are at its call for anything it may need. 
You may serve your country by being a good 
citizen, and attending steadily to the work you 
are engaged in, but you are at her call for spe- 
cial service whenever she may need you. You 
may be called upon to serve on the jury, to 
serve as special police in case of disturbance, 
or to go abroad as a soldier in case she is 
threatened by foreign foes. You may serve 
God in your home and in your daily calling, 
but you are at the call of God to serve him in 
whatever line his providence may lead you. 
His claims are higher than the claims of coun- 
try, for he made your country all it is. His 
claims are higher than the claims of home. 
God's gifts and God's care have made home 
possible to you. He wants you with all you 
have and all you are. He wants you with your 
country, that you may serve your country in 
his name. He wants you with your home, that 
your home may itself belong to God and be a 



SERMONS 17 



Christian home. And if God calls you to any 
special service you will have but one answer: 
"Here I am, Lord. Send me." There is evi- 
dence that Christ called the apostles to dis- 
cipleship before he called them to apostleship. 
He called them into his kingdom before he 
sent them out into his service. He wanted 
them first, and then he wanted whatever service 
they might be able to do. He called them to 
salvation, and he then appointed them to apos- 
tleship. He would first win a man to the truth, 
and then make him a messenger of the truth. 
Whatever Christ would have a man do, he 
wants the man himself first of all. Loyalty 
to Christ is the preliminary of all service. And 
loyalty to Christ makes all service acceptable 
and honorable. Personal loyalty consecrates 
all that a man puts his hands to. If I am 
Christ's, then all I have is his possession, and 
all I do is a part of his service. 

Second: Christ wants all we can make of 
ourselves. The Christian life is not a repres- 
sion but an inspiration. It is a new force in a 
man's life. Jesus kept his disciples with him 
three years, and never did three years so enlarge 
and transform men. That was a rare school 
those men attended the three years he remained 
on earth. It transformed the clumsy, un- 
taught fishermen of Galilee into the able and 



SERMONS 



dignified advocates of the Gospel before whom 
the people trembled at Pentecost. The men 
who seemed so helpless and dependent when 
he took them, became the competent and fear- 
less leaders of the Christian hosts when he left 
them. Never was there such a difference be- 
tween the entrance and the graduation. He 
knew the men he chose, the material of which 
they were made. And he knew how to draw 
out the best that was in them and to make the 
most of all the gifts they had received. As he 
called them in their simplicity, they served him 
with their enlarged powers. He first of all 
called them, and then he claimed all he had 
made of them. In like manner he wants you, 
and he wants all you can make of yourselves. 
The man who brought his talent, and returned 
it to his lord and said : " Lo! here is thy talent; 
take that is thine," received no commendation. 
All the gifts of God are a trust, and God expects 
them to be increased as well as used. We must 
improve them as well as employ them. In fact 
we improve them when we employ them. And 
they never improve so fast as when they are 
most employed. Every man is to use his 
gifts for service, and also for increase. 

And this does not apply simply to what is 
technically considered the season of growth. 
It applies no more to school than to home; no 



SERMONS 19 



more to college than to business. For a man's 
growth is not all made in youth and his educa- 
tion is not all acquired in school. The soldier 
does not get all his military training in the 
academy; the lawyer does not gain all his 
acumen in the law school; and the minister 
does not get all his theology in the theological 
seminary. There have been good soldiers who 
never saw West Point. And there have been 
scholarly and effective men who never saw a 
university. And this is not said to the dis- 
credit of West Point or of the university. But 
it is simply to show that there are other roads 
to manhood besides the beaten track. A man 
has more schoolmasters than he knows, and 
he has more lessons than he recognizes, and he 
pays more tuition bills than he thinks. Every 
one we have anything to do with is a teacher 
to us, everything that happens to us has a 
lesson in it. Everything that happens to us 
helps to make us. How it makes us, depends on 
how w^e hold ourselves to it, just as other schools 
depend on the attention more than on their own 
efficiency. They are effective as we make them 
so, and they mold us as we hold ourselves to 
them. 

"We are building every day, 
In a good or evil way; 
And the structure as it grows 
Will our inmost selves disclose. 



20 SERMONS 



"Till in every arch and line 

All our faults and failings shine; 
It may grow a castle grand, 
Or a wreck upon the sand. 

"Build it well, whate'er you do; 

Build it straight and strong and true, 
Build it clean and high and broad; 
Build it for the eye of God." 

The bee does not gather all her honey from 
the walled garden, nor from the field sown for 
her, but she finds many a flower with choicest 
sweet in the wild wood, and in the open field. 

"She gathers honey, all the day 
From every opening flower." 

We find many delightful people who have 
not had what people call the best advantages, 
either of school or of society. They just drank 
in the sunshine as they came along, and gath- 
ered the sweets from every flower on their way. 
It is not the fault of the schools, but biggest 
dunces often come from the best schools; it is 
not the fault of the social order, but the most 
ill-mannered men you find will be those who 
know the customs and rules of the best society, 
and who scrupulously observe them, too. No 
man can be so cuttingly insolent as he who 
knows how to polish the shaft he shoots, A 
man's learning is not in proportion to his 
schools, nor is his politeness in proportion to 



SERMONS 21 



his social advantages. Our schools are the 
glory of our age, and the hope of our future. 
But there are limitations to what they can do, 
and there are things they need never attempt 
to do. A college diploma is not a guaranty 
of scholarship, any more than a church letter 
is a guaranty of sainthood. A college diploma 
often covers a lazy record, and a limping course. 
Often they come to us in sheep's-skin clothing, 
but inwardly they are simpering fools. It is 
not the fault of the schools, but it shows their 
limitations. There are no schools to the best 
things. We have schools of art which do 
grand work; but no school of art has ever had 
the temerity to advertise that it turned out 
artists. They turn out copyists and critics 
and teachers of art, but not artists. There 
are schools of elocution, but they do not even 
pretend to turn out orators. That is as much 
above their might as Burns found certain 
things above the might of kings. 

"A king can mak' a belted Knight, 
A Marquis, Duke and a' that; 
An honest man's above his might, 
A man's a man for a' that." 

So it is true of artists and orators, as it is of 
poets, "They are born and not made." And 
when God makes one he will open a door for 
him somewhere. They say there are no poets 



22 SERMONS 



now as there were a generation ago. But the 
same was said in the days of Tennyson and 
Longfellow. We used to see the statement 
quite frequently, that, "We have no such 
poets now as Burns and Byron." Then they 
would name Tennyson and Longfellow as our 
best. Of course there are no such poets now 
as in a former age; but there may be poets just 
as good, but of a different type. The genius 
of one age will not express itself in the terms of 
another. The poets of one age will not be 
like the poets of another. Homer's Iliad could 
not have been written in the Christian Era. 
Milton's Paradise Lost could not have been 
written in the nineteenth century. But if 
God should send a genius like Homer to this 
generation, he would express himself in such 
different speech and in such different form from 
the blind Homer of three thousand years ago 
that we might never think to compare them, 
so diverse would they be. If God should send 
another Milton to the twentieth century, he 
would speak in the tongue of the twentieth 
century, and men might never think of Milton 
when they were reading him. They might 
still go on murmuring: "There are no Miltons 
in this matter of fact generation, in this twen- 
tieth century, as there were in the seven- 
teenth." But if God ever sends the world a 



SERMONS 23 



poet, the poet will find the door to the world's 
heart, and he will find the key to the world's 
speech. 

But I have been drawn away from my 
thought, and yet perhaps not so far away as it 
seems. I was saying: God wants all a man is, 
and all he can make of himself. And what he 
can make of himself does nor depend on his 
opportunities so much as on his use of them. 
All that happens to him helps to make him. 
Every event in his life is a lesson if he will 
only learn it. Every friend is a teacher though 
he hold no certificate. Every enemy is a 
teacher, too, if the man be only wise enough to 
learn. Good fortune may teach a man, and 
ill fortune none the less. Joy is a teacher, and 
so is sorrow; we learn from laughter, and not 
the less from tears. Everything speaks to 
him who has ears to hear; everything sings to 
him who has music in his soul; everything 
teaches him who has the spirit of a scholar. 
The whole world is a book to him who can 
turn its pages. Humanity is a library to him 
who knows how to draw its volumes. Or a 
man may go away empty from the grandest 
lessons that are ever given. One of the dullest 
men I ever spent an evening with had travelled 
round the world under the best guides that 
could be given him. And I have been charmed 



24 SERMONS 



many a time by men who had seen little 
beyond their own neighborhood. It is true 
now as in the days of Jesus: "Men see with 
their eyes, and hear with their ears; and under- 
stand with their heart." It is not the sights 
or the sounds, or the truth ; it is the eye and the 
ear and the heart. The heart that is on the 
alert "Finds tongues in trees, books in the 
running brooks; sermons in stones and good 
in everything." 

Christ wants you, and he wants all you are. 
He wants you, and he wants all you can make 
of yourself. He called his disciples for what 
they were; he kept them with him until he 
made them what he wanted them to be. He 
calls us all as we are, and then if we follow 
where he leads, he will make us what he wants 
us to be. Jesus called his disciples one by one, 
and calls all men into his service. It was, 
"Matthew, follow me"; or it was, "John, 
James, Peter, follow me." He spoke to them, 
one by one. He also said, "Come unto me all 
ye that labor." "If any man thirst, let him 
come to me and drink." In the prophetic 
forecast it was said, "Ho ! every one that thirst- 
eth." It is the same today. God's universal 
call may be heard of any man who will listen. 
Every man knows God has a right to him. 
Every man knows God wants him. Every 



SERMONS 25 



man knows God needs him. This general 
call is not audible, but it is as plain as if it were. 
It speaks in conscience, in Providence, and in 
the gentler influences of divine grace. 

But the call of God is personal as well as 
general. God speaks to men one by one now 
as he did of old. You all know the general 
truth that God has a right to you, that he 
needs you, and that he wants you. This is 
the substance of his general call. And you 
have all felt at times a more personal sense 
of God's claim. The general sense of truth 
has become a personal conviction. It has 
taken a personal form, and you have said in 
your own heart, "I ought to give myself to 
God, and yield myself to his service." The 
general call of God became focussed in your 
own heart. 

Christ now calls for you — for all you are — for 
all you can make of yourself. He calls for you 
— not for a tribute from your estate — not for a 
portion of your time — not for a fragment of 
your strength. But he wants you yourself. 
He does not want the fag-ends of your life, or 
what there is left when you have served your- 
self; but he wants your life itself, with all its 
vigor and force, with all its purpose and power. 
Every man had his own call, and ever}^ man 
is called in his own way; but when God does 



26 SERMONS 



call a man he calls him for the man himself, and 
when the man responds to God he brings his 
life with him. 

And God does not call all men to the same 
work any more than he calls all men in the 
same way. He calls one man to go across the 
seas to preach Jesus, and he calls another man 
to stay at home and live Jesus. And it often 
happens that he who stays at home has the 
harder mission. It is sometimes harder to live 
Jesus than it is to preach him. And the most 
effective way of presenting Jesus is to embody 
him in our life. And each man must hear his 
own call, and each man must obey his own 
orders. One man cannot hear for another, 
and one man cannot answer for another. One 
man cannot fill another's place, and one man 
cannot do another's work. God wants of each 
man the service for which he made him, and 
the service to which he calls him. 

First of all then, God wants you that he 
may do something for you. He can enlarge 
and inspire your life. He wants you also that 
you may do something for him. First he calls 
you for salvation, and then he calls you to 
service. First come and receive a blessing, 
then go forth and be a blessing. 



Ill 



WHICH OF YOU, BY TAKING THOUGHT, CAN 
ADD ONE CUBIT TO HIS STATURE?" 
Matt. 6: 27 

T KNEW a man years ago, who was a loyal 
''■ supporter of his church and a firm behever 
in its doctrines, but who never would become 
a member of the church. He was a regular 
attendant and a loyal supporter. He believed 
in the church, and believed in the work it 
was doing. He was a well-educated man, 
well-informed by large reading and wide travel. 
In talking with him of the matter one day, I 
asked him why he was not a member of the 
church he believed in so heartily, and sup- 
ported so loyally. He believed in God, he 
believed in the church and he believed in all 
the Christian doctrines. Why did he not do 
as he believed? He replied, that it was be- 
cause he believed the doctrines of his church 
that he was not a church member, and did not 
claim to be a Christian. According to the 
doctrine of his church, the matter of his con- 
version and salvation was entirely in the hands 
of God. "God made me, and God put me 
here. I am just what he made me, and just 

27 



28 SERMONS 



where he put me. If God intends to save me 
he will do so; if he don't, he won't. That is 
all there is to it, and that is the end of it." 
He was thoroughly fortified in his position, 
and seemed thoroughly satisfied with it. I 
do not know how much of blufif there was in 
it, but he seemed sincere. At all events it 
was impossible to move him from it. It was 
the baldest putting of the case I ever heard. 
I had heard Arminians in Methodist pulpits 
try to reduce Calvinism to an absurdity in 
some such fashion as this, but never heard one 
who believed in the scheme who would con- 
sent to such a conclusion. 

The thologlcal world has been coming nearer 
together than they were in those days. The 
man who exalts the sovereignty of God, and 
calls himself a Calvinist, and the man who 
exalts the freedom of man and calls himself an 
Arminian, can fully agree the one with the 
other. As they have come to understand each 
other, they have found that they both believe 
in the sovereignty of God, and they both be- 
lieve in the freedom of man. The two truths 
have been so conceived and so stated that they 
are seen to run parallel with each other, and 
not across each other. Some make one line 
heavier and some the other. But as the best 



SERMONS 29 



thinkers conceive them in this later day, the 
two lines of thought do not conflict. 

The exaggerated idea of these doctrines, 
which this old gentleman has referred to, has 
left the church and taken refuge in the schools 
of philosophy. It has fled the lecture-room of 
the theological seminary, and taken refuge in 
the lecture-room of material science. It is 
known by a different name, and it is defined 
in difi'erent terms, but in these material spec- 
ulations it appears in a harder and more relent- 
less form than it ever took on in theological 
discussion. Native Depravity and Original 
Sin in the church have been supplanted by 
Heredity in the schools, and the Federal Head- 
ship of Adam in the church has been supplanted 
by the Solidarity of the Race in the schools. 
The discarded fatalism of the religious world 
has been taken up by the apostles of modern 
speculation. In the scheme of these specu- 
lations, the same wheels which grind out the 
physical events of the earth, grind out also the 
history of nations, and the conduct and des- 
tinies of men. They teach that, "Mental and 
moral traits depend on ancestry, and sentiment 
and character depend on climate and food. 
Heredity determines a man's powers, and en- 
vironment determines his conditions, and the 
two together determine his character, and 



30 SERMONS 



shape his life and destiny." And there is in 
this scheme no such relief as the older Cal- 
vinism gave. There are no Doctrines of Grace, 
no great multitude of the elect to be redeemed 
by the power and Spirit of God. All men are 
like Esau, they find no place for repentance 
though they seek it carefully with tears 

There is truth in all these forms of doctrine 
and speculation. The trouble is they are too 
narrow to cover the whole ground. There is a 
great deal of truth in the doctrine of heredity, 
but it is not all there is. There are other 
truths just as well authenticated with which 
it must be made to harmonize. There is a 
deal of truth in the doctrine of environment, 
but it is not all there is. There is a very close 
relation between matter and thought, but 
matter does not account for thought. There 
is a very close relation between heredity and 
character, but character is not inherited. 
There is a very close relation between environ- 
ment and destiny. But environment does not 
control destiny. 

We can all readily see that material condi- 
tions have a great deal to do with mental 
traits, and with moral results. But they do 
not explain mental action, nor account for 
the facts of conscience and character. We can 
all see that heredity has a great deal to do 



SERMONS 31 



with conduct; but it does not altogether ex- 
plain conduct, or conscience, or conviction. 
A man's surroundings have a great deal to do 
with what he is; but they do not explain what 
he is, nor why he became such. There are 
things in a man's life and character which 
heredity and environment do not explain. 
We must look for something else as a factor 
in the common result. 

There are three elements which enter into 
the forming of character and the shaping of 
life. Modern speculators admit two of them; 
heredity, environment; I would add perso?t- 
ality. Heredity is a mighty factor in the 
shaping of every man's life. He can not be 
any more than he is, nor essentially different 
from what he is. As the text says he cannot 
add one cubit to his stature. He cannot 
change five feet six to six feet five. He may 
develop his powers but it must be essentially 
in the lines and within the limits of his natural 
inheritence. A man with small, feeble body 
may strengthen and enlarge himself somewhat, 
but he can hardly hope to become a man of 
massive and robust frame. A man may im- 
prove his mental gifts, but if he be wise he 
will seek to improve those he has rather than 
to create those he has not. " Poeta nascitur, 
non fit" the old Latin used to say. A poet 



32 SERMONS 



is born — not made. Not everybody can be 
a poet or a painter or a singer. Not every- 
body can be a superior mechanic or a great 
inventor. There is a vast difference in the 
amount of inherited skill. So there is in- 
herited some of the framework of character. 
Some are quick and passionate. Some are 
calm and patient. They may intensify or curb 
these tendencies but they exist and must be 
recognized. Each man has his own problem 
in the shaping of his character. There is 
doubtless a difference in the purely moral ten- 
dencies of men. In some natures conscience 
seems almost left out; while in others it is 
very strong. It is almost morbidly sensitive 
in some natures. Some are naturally avari- 
cious and stingy. Some seem to be born 
liars; their respect for truth is so feeble that 
they begin lying very early and keep it up 
very late. Then there are kleptomaniacs or 
born theives. This is heredity, and you can 
easily see how mighty a factor it is in men's 
lives. 

Another element to be considered in the 
building of character is what modern specula- 
tion calls environment. Literally this is what 
lies round a man; his surroundings; his circum- 
stances. Heredity and environment include 
what is born in a man, and what lies about a 



SERMONS 33 



man; the elements of his nature, and the set- 
ting of his Hfe. The setting of a man's Hfe 
has a wonderful influence in the shaping of 
his character. It is not strange that to many 
it seems to be the controlling element. To say, 
one is born in the heart of Christendom or in 
the heart of heathendom, in a Christian home 
or in the slums, would almost seem to settle 
the whole question as to what a man shall be. 
And it is the same with heredity. When you 
consider how differently men are constituted 
it seems as if that settles the whole question 
of their career. When you consider how dif- 
ferently they are circumstanced it seems as if 
that settled the whole question of their career. 
Put the two together and many men say we 
have all the elements of the problem of life 
in these two things. 

But we have only to look a little closer to 
see that neither of these covers the case, nor 
do both of them cover the case. They do not 
explain all the facts. They do not explain 
what every man knows of himself, and they do 
not explain what every man sees about him. 
They leave no place for conscience, and no 
room for responsibility. If a man's nature 
and setting control his life then conscience is 
a baseless dream, and obligation is an airy 
fancy. A sense of injustice is itself unjust, 

3 



34 SERMONS 



and a sense of guilt for one's own conduct is 
absurd, and to blame another for a wrong is 
itself wrong. Yet these are common experi- 
ences in every heart, and no logic can banish 
them and no philosophy can explain them away. 
We blame others for the wrongs they do us ; we 
blame ourselves for the wrongs we do them. 
The pressure of obligation is on every life, 
and every one claims of others the treatment 
he counts due himself. These are fixed points 
which cannot be put away, and they have a 
significance which cannot be misread. 

We come, therefore, to the third element in 
the forming of character and the shaping of 
life, which we call personality, the man him- 
self as a point of power. Heredity explains 
a great deal; environment explains a great 
deal; but there will be a great many chasms 
to leap if we do not take into account the per- 
sonality — the man himself, handling his powers 
and shaping his circumstances. A man was 
born on the shores of the Aegean Sea with the 
gifts and instincts of an orator. But a stam- 
mering tongue threatened to nullify his gifts 
and smother his instincts. But by the force 
of his tremendous will he held himself to the 
task of overcoming this great obstacle, and 
the name of Demosthenes has been the syno- 
nym of eloquence for over two thousand years. 



SERMONS 35 



A boy in school was ridiculed by his teacher 
for his dulness. The reproaches stung him 
to the quick, and he determined to falsify the 
sneering predictions the teacher had uttered. 
The history and life and work of Sir Isaac 
Newton were the result of that changed pur- 
pose. The gifts were there, the environment 
was there, and now the personality asserted 
itself. He could not have been what he was 
but for the gifts he inherited. He could not 
have done what he did but for the opportunity 
afforded him in his surroundings and environ- 
ment. But he would not have been what he 
was nor could he have done what he did, had 
he not marshalled his gifts and seized the oc- 
casion and turned it to account by the aid of 
his personality. It was heredity and environ- 
ment in the hands of personality directed to a 
purpose and guided to a result. A man can only 
do what the gifts of his nature enable him to do, 
but he can frustrate the gifts or he can enlarge 
and quicken them. A man can seize the op- 
portunity offered to him, or he can let it pass 
him. He can enter the open door, or he can 
loiter till it be closed. If no doors open he 
cannot enter, but no matter how many doors 
open, if he will not enter. And doors will 
always open to a man if he only wait and watch. 
It is quite common for men to adopt a 



36 SERMONS 



conclusion broader than their premise. When 
a man has shown you how potent heredity is 
in shaping character and life, he often assumes 
that he has settled the whole question. When 
he has shown that a criminal inherited his 
evil drift from his ancestors, he assumes that 
that ends all controversy. It is all charge- 
able to heredity. The man must not be 
blamed for what his father was, nor for what 
his father did. It is a misfortune and not a 
crime, he tells you. We may readily concede 
that the man is not to blame for the drift he 
inherited from his father. But the drift he 
inherited was not the crime he committed. 
It was yielding to the drift which constituted 
the crime. It did not become a crime till 
personality took hold of the inherited drift 
and gave it effect in deed. 

When the Keely Cure was at its height of 
popularity, one of our newspapers said: "If 
this cure prove all that is claimed for it, it 
will change the whole aspect of the temperance 
question. If it should be shown that intemper- 
ance is not a crime but a disease, then the 
preacher must go out and the doctor must 
come in. The temperance lecturer and the 
temperance paper must be set aside, and med- 
ical treatment must take their place. Instead 



SERMONS 37 



of giving the drunkard temperance tracts, you 
will give him Chloride of Gold." 

All this sounds very plausible, but is very 
narrow. It only sees one side of the truth, 
and makes that stand for the whole. It is 
no new thing that drunkenness is a disease. 
Temperance lecturers have long made this one 
of the chief indictments against the liquor 
habit. Its great peril was that it did create 
a disease which was beyond a man's control. 
They have always insisted that alcohol pro- 
duced a diseased condition of the system, 
which craved indulgence, and made escape 
from the habit more and more difficult. But 
the craving did not indulge itself. Sometimes 
a man inherits the condition from his drunken 
father. But he does not get drunk on the 
whiskey his father drank. He may crave 
whiskey because his father drank w^hiskey. 
But he need not drink it unless he choose. 
And it will be true of him, as has often been 
said of others, "Whiskey will not hurt you, 
if you let it alone." The craving is a mis- 
fortune; the yielding to it is the crime. Being 
a disease does not prevent its being a crime. 
It may be all the more a crime because it is a 
disease. If alcohol produces a disease, then it 
is a very seirous crime to indulge in its use. 
When we are asked: "Is intemperance a dis- 



38 SERMONS 



ease or a crime?" We answer, "Both." So 
far as the inflamed condition of the system 
is concerned, it is a disease; so far as it is a 
man's assent to this craving, it is a crime. It 
is a crime for a man to indulge in that which 
produces a diseased condition, and tends to 
fasten itself upon a man's life. 

In a sense all sin is disease. The disease 
is the evil tendency which prompts to evil. 
The sin is obeying this evil tendency in evil 
conduct. The evil tendencies may be born 
in us — some stronger — some weaker. It is 
when one listens to the promptings of evil 
that he becomes guilty of sin. It is the con- 
sent of the personality that constitutes the 
sin. The battle of our life is to overcome the 
evil promptings of our nature, and the evil 
allurements of our environment. "Let no 
man say when he is tempted, I am tempted 
of God. For God cannot be tempted of evil, 
neither tempteth he any man. But every 
man is tempted when he is drawn away of 
his own lusts and enticed. Then lust when it 
is conceived, bringeth forth sin, and sin when 
it is finished, bringeth forth death." It is no 
holiday contest, this contest of the soul for 
its own deliverance. But it is a contest in 
which every man must engage, and in which 
every man may win. Here are the powers and 



SERMONS 39 



faculties God has given you as your inheritance. 
Here are the opportunities and openings he has 
placed before you. What is to come of it all 
is the question your personality has to settle. 
In the problem of life, personality is the lead- 
ing factor. It cannot change the inheritance 
of nature, but it can turn that inheritance to 
account. It cannot add one cubit to your 
stature, or one inch to your height. But it 
can make you every inch a man, and every 
inch a Christian. It cannot choose the environ- 
ments of your life, but it can enter openings 
that appear, and it can make the most of the 
opportunities that offer. 

Personality has done wonders with both 
heredity and environment. It has made mod- 
erate gifts accomplish marvelous things. Men 
have taken their moderate gifts, and by per- 
sistent and faithful application, have put to 
shame the splendidly equipped, who have in- 
dolently frittered away their patrimony. Out 
of the most untoward surroundings it has often 
found its way to the grandest attainments. 
The boy from the log cabin has beaten the 
boy from the palace. The barefooted boy 
has outstripped the boy of pampered indul- 
gence. The plodder has outstripped the genius. 
The tortoise has passed the hare. Whether 
a man be largely endowed, or moderately 



40 SERMONS 



endowed, his success will depend on the use 
he makes of what God has given him. 

And a man never works alone. To every 
soul struggling for the mastery there is prom- 
ised, and there is given, the all-conquering 
grace of God. God is forever on the side of 
struggling souls. Against whatever odds of 
inheritance or of surroundings a man may con- 
tend, the grace of God is the assurance of vic- 
tory. "Who shall deliver me from the body 
of this death?" said the apostle, as he reviewed 
the long and varying struggle. " I thank God, 
through Jesus Christ our Lord." Through 
him I shall gain the victory; through him I 
shall win the crown. To every soul there 
may come the same assurance. Whatever 
the odds against you, his grace is sufficient 
for you. You need not count the odds against 
you when God is on your side. It is all alike 
with him, and you shall, "Come off conqueror, 
and more than conqueror, through him that 
hath loved you." 



IV 



IT DOTH NOT YET APPEAR WHAT WE SHALL BE, 
BUT WHEN HE SHALL APPEAR WE SHALL 
BE LIKE him" 

I John 3: 2 

^X^HE Apostle here gives a result and a reason 
■*- for it. He confesses himself unable to 
describe the future form and character of the 
sons of God. It was beyond the reach even of 
his comprehension. He attempts no descrip- 
tion of what could not be described. There are 
things which human language cannot express, 
which human thought cannot compass, which 
human imagination even cannot portray. There 
are scenes in nature which no painter can ade- 
quately represent or canvas contain. There 
are ideas revealed to human thought and ex- 
periences revealed in human life, which no man 
can fully portray in words. Those words best 
represent them which only point to them and 
leave them in their indefiniteness for the imagi- 
nation to fill out. The power of Milton lies 
in the undefined greatness of the wondrous 
images he calls up. His grandest conceptions 
he never describes, but just says enough to 
turn your thought in the direction of the images 

41 



42 SERMONS 



his own imagination sees and which he wishes 
to reveal to you. You doubtless have seen 
his Paradise Lost represented in panorama. If 
so, you could not fail to notice the difference 
between the poet's image and the painter's 
copy. Compare, for instance, the scene where 
the Messiah is represented as coming in his 
awful chariot, with his terrible right hand 
hurling thunderbolts into the ranks of his 
discomfited foes, and driving them howling 
over the walls of Heaven into the boundless 
darkness beyond and below. Compare this 
picture of the poet where description fades 
away in indefinite vastness, with the same scene 
as the painter gives it on the panorama. Here 
you have a very ordinary looking man driving, 
rather fast, in a gaudy carriage, and forcing out 
a few streaks of light from something which he 
holds in his right hand. These streaks of light 
represent the thunderbolts of the poet. Take 
again his description of Satan, "Stretching 
rood on rood o'er the burning lake," and when 
he spoke the vast caverns of the deep did 
groan. Compare this with the picture of Satan 
which the painter gives. The poet's power 
consists in the indefinite greatness of the images 
he suggests but does not describe, leaving our 
minds to follow and fill out. 

This is the favorite style of the Bible in 



SERMONS 43 



speaking of eternal things, and it is a great deal 
more impressive and really reveals a great 
deal more, and reveals it more accurately than 
any attempt at description could possibly do. 
We are far more impressed with the majesty 
of God when he says, " I am that I am," or " I 
am, because I am," than if the Word had gone 
on to define God and give an analysis of his 
being and attributes. We see more of Heaven 
in the simple expression, "Eye hath not seen, 
nor ear heard, nor heart conceived," then we 
ever could see in the most glowing description 
language could compass. 

The text is a very fine illustration of the 
propriety and power of this mode of teaching. 
It is not a description, but one of those poetic 
hints at the destiny of the Sons of God which 
set in motion our own thoughts. "We know 
not what we shall be." Modern theologians 
would hardly confess this. The omniscient 
authors of our theological story books would 
hardly confess this. But he who had communed 
with Jesus and had leaned upon his breast, to 
whom afterwards the heavens opened and its 
voices spoke, he confesses "We know not what 
we shall be." Our future destiny is not only 
a mystery, hid away among events and scenes 
not yet revealed to us, but it is so vast we could 
not comprehend it if it were revealed. We 



44 SERMONS 

not only cannot know it, but we could not 
grasp it if we could know it. Even if our 
thought could get the right range, we should 
be lost in the attempt to follow it out. 

The Apostle here does not attempt to com- 
pass the destiny of the Sons of God. He 
simply gives a hint that may point in the direc- 
tion in which that destiny lies. "We shall be 
like Christ" was the most he could say and all 
he needed to say. No other words could ex- 
press so much. And they are words that grow 
with our Christian growth as we know more 
of Christ. All there is in Christ is wrapped in 
those words. And as we learn more and more 
of him, the vastness of our future glory expands 
our thought. "We shall be like him for we 
shall see him as he is." Destined to be like 
him, his presence shall complete the image. 

One thought that this figure suggests very 
vividly is, that the blessedness of the future 
will consist in being like Christ and not simply 
being with him. To be with Christ is a blessed 
thing for those who are like him, or who are 
growing into his likeness and have learned to 
love it. But it is the likeness of Christ in us 
that makes his actual presence a blessing to 
us. His presence will be a congenial place to 
those who are growing into the same image. A 
great mistake is often made here. A great 



SERMONS 45 



many lay more stress on being received into 
the presence of Christian glory than on having 
that glory found within them. Thousands of 
people think that if by any chance they can 
only open the door where the sons of God are to 
dwell, the end of their Christian hope is at- 
tained. We see the same mistake in regard to 
earthly things. Men will strive to their utmost 
to attain some station for which they in no 
wise are fitted, and where all their life must be 
unnatural and irksome. They lose sight of 
the fact that they will rise naturally to the 
place for which they fit themselves. They do 
not see how foolish it is to struggle for a posi- 
tion to which they would rise of themselves, if 
they worked as hard to prepare for the place 
as they do to gain it. Scholars in school or 
college often work harder to make a false 
appearance and to secure a false mark and 
false grade than they would need to do to 
deserve and secure a true mark and grade. 
They forget that after all is done they do not 
really belong to the grade which the school 
record indicates. The studies to which they 
are introduced will not be intelligible or satis- 
factory or profitable. But if they had pre- 
pared themselves, they would be on a level 
with that grade, whether the record put them 
there or not. So it is not so important that a 



46 SERMONS 



man should enter the kingdom of Christ as that 
that kingdom should enter his life. The sur- 
roundings of the kingdom are adapted to the 
disciple of that kingdom. Any other would be 
as manifestly out of place as an ignorant man 
in the highest grade of classical school. Those 
unlike Christ in purpose and character and life 
would feel oppressed in his presence by the 
dissimilarity. It would be an intolerable con- 
straint. Men seek their associates from those 
like themselves. Robbers and thieves do not 
choose honest men for their permanent com- 
panions and chosen friends. The keepers of 
dramshops are not inclined to spend their 
evenings in temperance societies. The frivo- 
lous devotees of fashion and folly do not enjoy 
themselves in the society of whole-souled men. 
Men seek their own class. They sink to its 
level by moral gravitation. They may lift 
themselves above it for a time, by some tem- 
porary spasm, but they will sink back again 
when the spasm ceases. They will not abide 
permanently with those whose purposes and 
tastes cross their own. They may wish to be 
reckoned with those better than themselves, 
but they will go to their own place the moment 
their inclinations are allowed free play and they 
cease to act a constrained part. 

So those in no wise like Christ not only can 



SERMONS 47 



not be with him, but would not wish to be. 
The presence of Christ would be a perpetual 
rebuke to every thought their hearts ever 
cherished and would repress every purpose to 
which they had given their lives. To a man 
who had nothing of Christ in him, who was in 
no wise like him in his moral temper, the atmos- 
phere of Heaven would be stifling. So the 
chief element of Heaven is likeness to Christ. 
This is the great central feature of its joys. 
All the rest is but the framework. This is the 
picture. It will depend more on the likeness 
of Christ formed in us than on the presence of 
Christ before us; more on what we are than on 
where we are. 

A second thought suggested by the text is, 
that the completed likeness of the future is the 
natural outgrowth of the present. Christianity 
in the soul is more than a wish. Many men 
have wished to be better and still continued to 
grow worse. A wish to rise may not ever check 
the rapidity with which a man is sinking. A 
man who has stepped off from a precipice may 
wish he might step back again, but the wish 
will not take him back. Many a man has 
looked with longing eyes from the abyss of 
dissipated degradation and wished with frantic 
earnestness that he were back at the starting 
point of his descent. But his wishes do not 



48 SERMONS 



lift him out nor return the promise of former 
days which had been once despised and re- 
jected. Christianity in the soul is more than 
this. It is a life implanted. It is the likeness 
of Christ begun. Fellowship with Christ is 
no mere charm that opens the treasures of his 
Kingdom. It is the beginning of a new life 
"It is Christ formed within us." Very dimly 
formed, perhaps, but yet really there. The 
image may be very faint but it will grow more 
and more distinct till it covers or obliterates 
every other image and we become "like him." 
Ours may be but the first fruits of the Spirit. 
But it is a specimen of the coming harvest 
whose approach it suggests and proves. The 
grain of mustard seed is very small, but it has 
in it the promise of a great tree. The morning 
twilight may be very dim, but it gives promise 
of growing brighter and brighter, of shining 
more and more unto the perfect day. The 
Christian looks forward, therefore, to no 
strange transformation. He will experience 
the completion of what was begun here and 
what he has longed and labored for on earth. 
The spirit which here struggled for the mastery 
of the corruptions of the flesh and the wiles of 
Satan, will there be complete in its triumph and 
victory and control. 

I notice in the third place that the process 



SERMONS 49 



of growth in the future is the same as the 
process of growth in the present. Acquaint- 
ance with Christ develops the germ here; the 
sight of Christ is to complete the growth there. 
We grow slowly into his likeness here as we 
dimly read his character; we shall open in to 
his full likeness there as we stand before him 
and see him face to face. There is nothing 
unnatural in this. We grow like that we look 
upon and dwell with. The chameleon is not 
the only example of colors changing with 
surrounding objects. It is a well-known pi'in- 
ciple of human life. The painter looks at his 
favorite models for hours, not that he may copy 
them or even imitate them, but that he may 
catch their spirit and acquire a similar style 
of taste. The musician studies the works 
of the best masters and listens to their strains, 
not merely to analyze them, but that his own 
taste may insensibly be elevated and purified 
by the communion. By long study of an 
author a man's style of expression gradually 
grows to resemble his, not by any mimicry but 
by natural power of association and contact. 
When two men associate together they each 
partake of the other. The resemblance in 
families between brothers and sisters is not 
all inherited. It is partly the transformation 
of one by another. A man is known by the 



50 SERMONS 



company he keeps, not simply because he would 
naturally associate with those like him, but 
because he would naturally become like those 
with whom he associates. The characters we 
live with and love have an untold influence 
upon us. This law is not changed when we 
pass into the region of faith. Beings whom 
"unseen we love" have their influence in 
shaping us as well as those we see. Famil- 
iarity with the mere thought of Christ would 
influence us. Still more influential is the 
personal communion of those who believe 
in his name. The more close the sympathy, 
the more intimate the communion, the more 
mighty the influence. We never grow weary 
of the acquaintance of Christ. We never can 
fathom the depths of his character. It is one 
of those things that grow vaster the more we 
know of them. Some things bear acquaint- 
ance, we know; others seem to be exhausted 
at the first glance and after that they weary 
us. Some paintings look beautiful at first 
sight, and after that seem common and mean- 
ingless. Others attract no special attenton 
when we first see them, but grow full of expres- 
sion and depth of beauty as we gaze at them 
and study them. Some tunes only bear hear- 
ing once or twice. A large share of the popular 
music of the day is of this kind. Others sound 



SERMONS 51 



the sweeter the oftener they are repeated. 
Some buildings attract our attention as we pass 
them. But when we become familiar with 
them they are seen to be irregular and without 
any controlling idea or design. Others make 
no impression on us at first, but as we study 
them we are more and more impressed with 
their beauty and proportion. It is said that 
on first entering St. Peter's at Rome a man is 
not much impressed with its great size. But 
as he remains and compares magnitudes, as he 
sees men in different parts and up towards the 
dome, dwindling down to little images, he 
begins by degrees to gain a conception of the 
vastness and grandeur of the building. Its 
proportions begin to steal upon him and the 
longer he stays the greater and the grander the 
immense proportions seem to him. The first 
feeling of most persons at Niagara is that of 
disappointment. We must stay with it and 
cultivate its acquaintance if we would go away 
with any suitable and true impression of its 
greatness and power. This quality marks the 
difference between real greatness and preten- 
sion; between surface beauty and deep gen- 
uine merit. It marks the difference between 
natural scenery and imitation, between the 
artist and the dauber, between the genuine 
musician and the jingler of rhymes. 



52 SERMONS 



We have but little recorded of the life of 
Christ. But few events are recorded and those 
only briefly and very simply. We know but 
few things that he did. We know but few 
things that he said. Those few things are 
stated with great brevity and simplicity. We 
have learned very little about Christ if we 
have only learned the things he said and did. 
It is only a short series of scattered events giv- 
ing no connected history of his life, but only 
letting us have a glimpse here and there. But 
these glimpses show Christ himself, just as a 
painter, by a few touches of his brush, will 
enable you to gain a conception of the ideal 
that lies in his own mind and to which he is 
working. The more we read these scattered 
records, the more we dwell on his wonderful 
words, the more we come to see him who was 
the subject of those records and the author of 
those words. And the character grows fuller 
and richer and more marvelous every time we 
study it, until we come almost to hush our 
breath as we appear before it. Then when we 
know that this growing, glowing character is 
not a picture, but only a faint shadowing forth 
of him who was touched with the feeling of 
our infirmity, and who ever liveth to make 
intercession for us, our reverent admiration 
changes into a loving faith. To those who 



SERMONS 53 



have seen only the incidents and words of the 
record, and who have never seen Christ him- 
self through them, he is as the prophet said 
he would be, "A root out of dry ground, with- 
out form or comeliness, with no beauty that 
they should desire him," The richest music, 
the finest works of art, the grandest buildings 
are not appreciated by those who do not bring 
their spirit into sympathy with them. The 
symphonies of Beethoven are meaningless to 
one who only catches the succession of sounds 
and movements, and fails to see through these 
the underlying idea that inspired them. So 
one who only sees the facts of Christ's life and 
has never seen him through those facts, can- 
not understand the loving reverence of those 
who have seen Jesus himself as he shone through 
the deeds and words recorded of him. We 
seem like one who is telling a dream when we 
speak of the wonders we see in the gem of gems. 
They read his life only as so many pages of 
print, then pass over what is said of him as so 
many incidents and miracles and so many 
parables and discourses. A man might as well 
count the faces and figures in a painting and 
think by this he could understand it. The 
faces and figures mean nothing by themselves. 
The meaning lurks in their grouping and shad- 
ing and in a certain undefinable quality which 



54 SERMONS 



guides and characterizes the touch of genius. 
We read of Christ that we may know him, and 
the image that rises before us is vastly larger 
and deeper and more significant than all the 
separate parts of which it is composed. So we 
come to know him, and knowing him we come 
to love him, and loving him we come to long 
to be like him. But we only "know in part," 
we only "see through a glass darkly"; and we 
wait for the day when we shall see face to 
face and for the hour when we shall know as we 
are known. 

Though we cannot know what we shall be, 
we are satisfied to know we shall be like Christ. 
We do not yet fully comprehend what that 
means, but we are learning day by day and the 
meaning enlarges as our knowledge expands. 
What perfects the likeness in Heaven may 
increase it here on earth. When we see him 
as he is, we shall be like him. As here we see 
him more and more, more and more shall we 
resemble him. The more we know of him, 
the more shall we grow like him. And the 
more we become like him, the more shall the 
joy and blessedness of the everlasting life 
dwell with us here on earth. As we rise in 
knowledge and faith and love, shall we ap- 
proach the likeness of the Sons of God. But 
approach as we will, it will still remain true 



SERMONS 55 



that we know not what we shall be. For how- 
ever much we receive, still there is more to 
come. 

"Oh, the grace the Father shows; 

Still there's more to follow. 
Freely he his grace bestows; 

Still there's more to follow. 
More and more, more and more, 

Still there's more to follow. 
Oh, his matchless, boundless love; 

Still there's more to follow." 



V 

"the mutual faith of you and me" 

Rom. i: 12 

PAUL wished to go to Rome to preach 
Jesus Christ. He wished to do some- 
thing to estabHsh the church in that great 
capital of the world. But he was not the first 
to carry the Glad Tidings to Rome. Some one 
had been there before him, and there was al- 
ready a beginning. He would recognize what 
had been done, and he would use it as the 
basis for further success. He would have them 
understand that he was not coming to start 
a new movement, but to strengthen and enlarge 
what was already there. He wished to concil- 
iate them in advance that he might have their 
cooperation when he came. This is what I 
think he means by "the mutual faith of you 
and me." He was not coming as a lone man 
to proclaim a new religion in the streets of 
Rome, where they were accustomed to receive 
a new religion about twice a month; but he 
was coming to cooperate with them in what 
they had already undertaken. "You know 
Rome, and I do not. You are known there, 
and I am not. You know the people, and 

56 



SERMONS 57 



you know how to approach them. I shall 
depend on your acquaintance, your influence, 
and your judgment, in laying my plans and 
doing my work. We have the same Master, 
the same faith, the same aims and the same 
purposes. I wish to honor Christ and so do 
you. I wish to win men to the truth and so 
do you. I shall depend on your sympathy, 
your knowledge of the people, to gain access 
and to win a hearing. It shall be by the mutual 
faith of you and me that Rome shall be won 
to Christ." The members of the church at 
Rome were to open the way for the Great 
Apostle and multiply his effectiveness by their 
own cooperation. 

This was Paul's policy everywhere, as far as 
it could be applied. He everywhere sought 
for some local way of access. If he did not 
find it at once he waited till he did find it. 
He entered Philippi a stranger, knowing no 
one, and known of none. He did not go into 
the market place, and ring a bell and swing 
his arms and shout and tell the people who he 
was and what he had come for. He came to 
the town as any other stranger might have 
come, and quietly waited his opportunity. 
On Sabbath morning a company of Jewish 
women were accustomed to meet by the river- 
side to worship God after their own fashion. 



58 SERMONS 



Paul was a Jew and had a right to join with 
them in their service. He told them of Jesus as 
the natural expectation of the Jewish people 
and as the natural outcome of the Jewish faith. 
Lyddia, the leading character in the company, 
accepted his teaching, and offered her services 
to the new faith. Thus in a perfectly natural 
way Paul found a local opening in this strange 
city. Through this little group of converts 
by the riverside Paul gained access to Philippi 
and all that followed was in natural consequence 
of the simple method he adopted. He first 
found a few sympathetic souls, and through 
them found his way to the ear of the com- 
munity. He might have said to that river- 
side group of disciples, as he said to the church 
at Rome: " By the mutual faith of you and me 
we will win our way to the heart of this great 
city." And the Church that was at Philippi, 
the most faithful of all the churches Paul 
gathered about the Aegean Sea, stood for ages 
as the fruit of his wise method of approach. 
The company at the riverside were not of 
his faith, but they were the nearest akin to 
him in their spirit of anything he would find 
in the city. There was a common ground of 
sympathy and cooperation, and Paul was wise 
enough to take advantage of it. We see from 
the epistle to the Romans that the church at 



SERMONS 59 



Rome was not just such as he would like to 
have it. But it afforded a common ground of 
approach and influence, and he was wise enough 
to use what he could find. By the mutual 
faith of them both they could join hands in 
the work they wished to see done. 

Paul's method of leadership is the most 
effective of any in the world. He who can 
find the elements of strength is stronger than 
he who possesses strength himself. He who 
can win the assent of men is stronger than he 
who can compel that assent. The merging 
of men by a common thought makes a vastly 
stronger combination than the merging of 
them by authority and force. It is said that 
Xerxes had five millions of men when he under- 
took the conquest of Greece. His authority 
over them was absolute. His power was so 
absolute that his conceit knew no bounds. 
He went so far, they say, as to order the Hel- 
lespont flogged because it tore up his pontoons. 
But when he came to Greece he met a small 
army of freemen. There was not one Greek 
to ten Persians. They were indifferently led, 
and were not agreed in their own counsels. 
But every man was a Greek, and all had one 
thought, that the Persians must not desecrate 
the sacred soil of their country. When the 
great hosts of the East came sweeping on, 



6o SERMONS 

the little band met them with an onset so 
furious, that they were thrown into confusion 
and became an unwieldy and helpless mass. 
The Persians obeyed orders; the Greeks obeyed 
their impulse. Sometime in the fifties, dur- 
ing the discussion which followed the passage 
of the fugitive slave law, Jefferson Davis in 
the United States Senate, I think it was, 
urged the necessity of a larger regular army 
to enforce the laws. The fugitive slave law 
was everywhere resisted and the local author- 
ities and the local military could not be relied 
upon to enforce it. They fell in with the local 
anti-slavery sentiment, and refused to obey 
their superiors against their convictions. To 
meet this emergency Davis urged the need of 
a larger regular army, which would not be 
influenced by local sentiment. They would 
obey orders without regard to opinion. To 
enforce the law he insisted we need "These 
unimpassioned instruments of war." He 
would have an army which would move as it 
was ordered, and do as it was bid, asking no 
questions and making no reply. 

"Theirs not to make reply; 
Their's not to reason why; 
Their's but to do, and die." 

There Is power in an army like that. It is 
the common European idea of an army. They 



SERMONS 6i 



would not tolerate any other. They have al- 
ways made sport of our volunteer service, where 
private soldiers have opinions and sympathies. 
They have insisted that such troops as ours 
could never stand before their "unimpassioned 
instruments of war," but of late the opinion 
has changed in this matter. In the Spanish 
war our soldiers showed a quality which their 
soldiers lack. Our soldiers may not obey so 
promptly and they may not move so steadily 
but they display what the correspondents call, 
"the initiative," which stolid veterans lack. 
Every man has a part in the contest and 
watches his opportunity to strike most effec- 
tively. The man without convictions may 
make the best machine, but the man with con- 
victions will make the best soldier. At the 
battle of Trafalgar Lord Nelson displayed at 
the masthead of his flagship an ensign with the 
inscription, "England expects every man to do 
his duty." Every man in the fleet, as he saw 
that motto, was inspired to do his utmost to 
meet the expectation of his country. Some 
author has said that "Instantly every man in 
that fleet became as four men, every gun be- 
came as four guns, and every ship became as 
four ships." At Santiago, Roosevelt led his 
rough riders in the face of a galling fire. But 
he did not lead one whit more eagerly than 



62 SERMONS 



they all followed. Roosevelt led and inspired, 
but every man in the command was as good as 
himself. He commanded only because he 
spoke the thought that was in every one of 
their hearts, and he led them because they all 
wished to go the way he was going. Crom- 
well's army was invincible because every man 
in it was inspired with a common purpose. 
The men of the revolution could never be con- 
quered because every man in the colonies had 
sworn that the country should be free. The 
army was almost annihilated several times, 
but new armies came up as from the ground. 
The soldiers received pay as long as money 
could be obtained, and then they fought with- 
out pay. They were fed from the public 
store as long as the stores lasted, and then they 
provided for themselves, but no one thought 
of submission. A British officer went with a 
message to a small American camp in South 
Carolina. He was cordially received, and was 
asked to dine with the officers. As dinner time 
drew near he saw no sign of dinner. But at 
the proper time a negro servant came in and 
laid the cloth, and then drew out a lot of sweet 
potatoes from ashes on the hearth, and these 
constituted their dinner. When he returned 
to his own company he said, "A people who 
will fight and live on roots can never be con- 



SERMONS 63 



quered." Defeat might crush the armies, but 
could not crush the people. 

I have wondered why some of our economic 
leaders do not apply this method to the labor 
situation. The interests of master and men 
are identical. They are mutually dependent 
the one on the other. Is there not some one 
of our great leaders wise enough to make this 
appear and apply it? They can manage steel 
and mold it to their will. By long study and 
long patience they have overcome every dif- 
ficulty, and produced the product they desired. 
Would not the same skill and patience be 
equally successful if applied to men? The 
man who can manage a railroad and keep a 
hundred trains from colliding, ought to be 
able to manage the men who move these 
trains, and keep them harmonious and con- 
tented. They work steel according to the laws 
of steel; they work wool according to the laws 
of wool; they apply steam according to the 
laws of steam. They must learn to manage 
men according to the laws of human nature. 
This is the next great problem. A man is not 
competent to manage a railroad unless he can 
comprehend track and train, switch and engine. 
The time is coming when he must add to this 
the power to manage the men who turn the 
switch and move the engine, who load the cars 



64 SERMONS 



and care for the road. He will not manage 
them by compulsion as once was possible, 
but he must manage them by securing their 
own free assent. They must be made to see 
that they have an interest in the road, in the 
mill, in the foundry, in the mine with which 
they work. Somehow they must be made to 
share the profits in a way that shall show that 
master and men are one in the great establish- 
ment they jointly carry on. The great anth- 
racite strike was an unspeakable calamity to 
both parties. The miners lost millions in 
wages, while the mine-owners lost millions in 
profits. Is there not somebody great enough 
to put his hand on both parties and show them 
that their interests are one, and that any 
settlement is better than controversy? The 
operators and the men are alike interested in 
those great coal measures. The miners have 
their living there, and the operators have 
their fortune there. And they are dependent 
on each other. They can neither of them move 
without the other. The operators cannot 
move a pound of coal without the workmen, 
and the workmen cannot open a mine without 
the money. They can either of them balk 
the other, and either of them can make their 
common property of no value to either of 
them. It is to the interest of both that they 



SERMONS 65 



work in harmony. If the mine-owners should 
find some physical obstruction they would soon 
overcome it. If it were water, they would 
pump it out; if it were gas, they would drive 
it away; if the rock were obstinate, they would 
find a way to reduce it. But the men are more 
important than physical conditions. All con- 
ditions are without avail if the men will not 
work. Cannot some one make them all see that 
they have common interests at stake? Men 
are more reasonable than rocks and waters 
and noxious gases. They could be made to 
share the prosperity of the mines in such a 
way that they would feel that they were work- 
ing for their own when they were working for 
the common good. It will require some skill; 
it will require some patience; it will cost some 
money, perhaps. But improved machinery 
costs money; improved methods cost money; 
better means of transportation cost money. 
But in the end they more than pay it back. 
The men are more than all these. A little 
kindness, a little thoughtfulness, a little justice, 
would make all run smoothly and keep the 
mines open and keep the trains running, and 
keep the furnaces burning. And this is what 
they must come to. The old conditions are 
not coming back. The day was when the 
employer would sneer at the idea of his men 
5 



66 SERMONS 

making terms. The master was everything 
and the men were nothing. He must order, 
and they must mind. But that day has gone. 
The men have rights and know them, and the 
master must respect them and he knows that. 
They have rights as well as duties, and he has 
duties as well as rights. He must consult 
his men, and conciliate them, and consider 
them in all his operations. What a power a 
great industrial plant would be if all connected 
with it were interested in it, from the girl 
who tied the threads for a few shillings a week, 
to the designer who drew the patterns for many 
thousands a year! The men who manage 
these great plants ought to be great enough to 
compass a result like this. And the time is 
coming when nothing less than this will answer. 
The man who would manage a railroad must 
not only be able to run its hundreds of trains 
smoothly, but he must be able to get along 
smoothly with its thousands of men. And 
this is not an unreasonable demand. Men are 
less hard to manage than steel rails and steam 
engines and electric batteries. You would 
never put a man in charge of a telegraph office 
who could not manage a battery. This con- 
dition must come. Self-interest demands it 
as well as philanthropy. In fact it is coming to 
be realized that self-interest and philanthropy 



SERMONS 67 

run on the same track. When the mutual 
interests of men come to be understood, the 
mutual faith of men will be manifest. Men 
will see eye to eye when the mists have blown 
away. Men are mutually dependent on each 
other, and interest and philanthropy walk 
hand in hand. In business and social life we 
come to see this very plainly. The business 
man and his customer; the professional man 
and his client; the master and his men, are 
mutually dependent on each other. A busi- 
ness man's customers can clog his business; 
a professional man's clients can destroy his 
practise; the manufacturer's workmen can stop 
his mills. In social life he who would be a 
friend must find a friend, and he who would 
have a friend must be a friend. It is mutual 
interest and mutual faith which bind the world 
together in all its manifold and complicated 
relationships. The mutual faith of you and 
me makes us friends and makes us associates, 
and enables us to cooperate in our plans of 
service for men. 

I did not intend to let this thought run away 
with me to this extent when I took it up. I 
have spent so much time in developing my prin- 
ciple I fear I shall not have time to apply it. 
May I not hope that the principle is clear 
enough to apply itself? I want to come back 



68 SERMONS 



to the thought of the beginning, to Paul's 
dehcate suggestion to his Roman brethren, "I 
am coming to Rome to preach Christ. I am 
a stranger, but you are not strangers. I come 
to join hands with you in the work we both 
wish to see done. By the mutual faith of you 
and me we shall gain the end we seek." We 
are a band of Christian people. We have 
each our own life to live, and our own work to 
do, our own living to earn, and our own inter- 
ests to look after. But we all call ourselves 
Christians. We all have something in com- 
mon. This common thought is our bond of 
union, and in this union we call ourselves 
Plymouth Church. We have promised each 
other certain things we desire each should do 
for the other. We have promised each other 
some mutual care and mutual sympathy. We 
owe to each other what we have promised 
each other to do. We are not to wait for one 
another, but each to do his part. It is not a 
matter of barter and exchange. You are not 
to do your part because your brother does his 
part. You are to do your part whether he 
does his or not. You are to do your part be- 
cause you promised God you would do it. 
The primal Christian idea is duty. Not what 
will I get, but what can I do? Not what good 
will come to me, but of what use can I be to 



SERMONS 69 



my friends? Not, what will he do for me, but 
what can I do for him? 

The members of Plymouth Church owe 
something to each other. And we owe some- 
thing to the community we Hve in, the people 
we live among, the people we deal with, and 
the people we mingle with. We represent 
Christ among them, and we must hold up 
Christ before them. The pastor is not the 
church; the officers are not the church; the 
social and missionary societies are not the 
church. These are parts of the church. But 
the church is the whole membership. They all 
share its benefits, and they all share its respon- 
sibilities. You are, each of you, a part of the 
life of the church ; a part of its possible force. 

There was a time when the master com- 
manded and the men obeyed. He spake and 
it was done. But now one man leads others 
only as he can speak the word which is common 
to them all. There was a time when the min- 
ister stood for the church. He conducted 
the worship and did most of the Christian 
work. His opinion settled controversies, and 
his word was a law of the church. Now the 
minister's opinions are worth just what the 
reasons for them are worth, and he leads his 
church only as he can speak the word which 
is common to them all. He leads the church 



70 SERMONS 



because they wish to go the way he is going. 
But this is the best leading in the world — not 
for honor, but for efficiency. There is nothing 
so resistless as a company of men moving with 
a common impulse. And there is no impulse 
so strong as a Christian impulse. The accumu- 
lated Christian force of five hundred people is 
something to thank God for. I am not much. 
I am but one. But if I can speak the word 
which finds an echo in all your hearts, there is 
a power which no man can measure. Every 
member adds to the moral momentum. Every 
member touches somebody he might influence 
and help. Altogether you touch a large circle. 
It is not me, but the mutual faith of you and 
me. Let every one take his share, and we may 
see wonders wrought in the name of the Lord. 
The pastor is not much if he stand alone, but 
a whole church thus minded is a blessed fel- 
lowship. The promise of the year is with you. 
It is the mutual faith of you and me which 
is to bring what we all seek. 



VI 

"he steadfastly set his face to go to 
jerusalem" 

Luke 9: 51 

T^HE equivalent of this expression appears 
•*• several times in various connections. 
This was several months before his final ascent. 
It was an earlier journey, to make some private 
arrangements for that more important and 
more public visit. It says that as the time 
drew near when he was to be taken up, he set 
his face as if he would go to Jerusalem. Yet 
this was soon after the transfiguration, and 
several months before the "time when he was 
to be taken up." But already his face was 
steadfastly set as if he would go up to Jerusa- 
lem. From this on, that was his prominent 
thought and steadfast purpose. The people 
about him did not take to his going. Hereto- 
fore Galilee had been the scene of his ministry. 
The people of Capernaum had come to think 
that their city w^ould become the center of the 
new faith. They did not like the idea of his 
work and influence being transferred to Judea 
and Jerusalem. And the people of Samaria 
did not take kindly to the idea of his going to 

71 



72 SERMONS 



Jerusalem. Since his interview with the woman 
at Jacob's Well, they had felt that he was as 
much for them as for the Jews, and that they 
would have equal part at least, in the adminis- 
tration of his Kingdom. As he seemed to want 
to go south therefore they would not assist him, 
nor aid his journey. But with his disciples 
indifferent, the people of Galilee disapproving, 
and the people of Samaria opposing, he still 
set his face as if he would go to Jerusalem. 
From this thought he could not be diverted nor 
restrained. He was mingling with the people, 
he was healing the sick, he was teaching all who 
came to him. He was not at all indifferent to 
the calls on all sides of him, but all the while 
"his face was set" towards Jerusalem. What- 
ever he was doing, this was his ultimate 
thought. At another time from this, he had 
been talking of what was to come to him, and 
he walked before the disciples with a bearing 
so majestic that they followed him with awe. 
As he carried out his purpose he was often 
delayed and hindered. But he went right on 
when the delay was over. He sent a few of 
his disciples first to prepare for him, and then 
he sent the seventy on something of the same 
errand. "His face was set as if he would go up 
to Jerusalem." 

By this time I think you have a shadow 



SERMONS 73 



of my thought. In all these months Jesus is 
very busy. Crowds follow him, and crowds 
throng him everywhere. He neglects nothing 
as he moves along. He listens to every call, 
he responds to every need. He is keenly sen- 
sitive to every condition. His instincts seem 
to lead him where sorrow is, and he never 
avoids or evades a claim. He is never in a 
hurry, and never seems anxious to get away. 
But all this while there is another call and 
another claim. His mind is on another thought. 
He hears every call of the hour, and meets 
every claim of the place, but all the while a 
supreme claim overshadows all these local and 
passing calls. His face is set towards Jerusa- 
lem. He is looking towards the final consum- 
mation. The purpose for which he came is the 
end to which he continually moves. Over the 
diversions of his daily life there hangs the 
shadow of his great sacrifice. To look at him 
you would think he lived for those he lived 
with. But listen to his silent thought and 
you find he is looking to the far-off shadow 
of destiny and service. Without seeming in 
haste, or passing any claim or call, he all the 
while has this high call and higher claim in his 
ear and on his heart. Without neglecting the 
one, he does not lose sight of the other. He is 
in no haste to leave the widow of Nain until 



74 SERMONS 



her son is restored, and her sorrow completely 
assuaged. But next day we find him farther 
on. The disputes of the disciples are as care- 
fully adjusted as if he and they were to con- 
tinue in the relation they now find them- 
selves. But he immediately passes on from 
them to new scenes which require new adjust- 
ments. He does thoroughly the work of 
today, but ever has in mind the larger work 
of tomorrow. As he comes again among his 
old friends in Judea, social attentions are 
pressed upon him. He accepts them cheer- 
fully and heartily, but after dinner goes the 
way he was facing. He entered the house of 
Zacchaeus on the special mission he had in 
mind. He accomplished his mission, and left 
Zacchaeus a happy man in a happy home. He 
does not wait to find others who might profit 
by similar attentions, but rejoins the crowds 
of pilgrims and continues on towards Jerusa- 
lem and destiny. As they go out of Jericho 
he hears the cry of two blind men, "Jesus, 
thou Son of David, have mercy on us, that we 
may receive our sight." They are near Jeru- 
salem now, and the crowds are eager to press 
on. The disciples are impatient, and try to 
suppress these disturbers of their journey. But 
Jesus is in no hurry. No time to loiter, but 
always time to help the needy. But when he 



SERMONS 75 



has healed them and sent them away, then he 
and the multitude move on again. 

Soon after he came to Bethany, the home of 
Mary and Martha. Here was Lazarus whom 
he had raised from the dead. Here was Mary 
who listened, and Martha who served. Here 
he might remain and rest as one would at home. 
Here a reception was arranged for him and a 
supper. Here was an anointing with costly 
oil, as if he had been a prince. Here were all 
the love, and honor and attention he could 
ask for. He might have stayed here for weeks, 
and postponed the day of darkness and sacri- 
fice. Here he might steady his nerves and 
recruit his strength. 

He accepted their attentions thankfully; he 
enjoyed their supper and social converse; he 
told them this would be remembered to their 
honor as long as his gospel should be pro- 
claimed on the earth. He was not indifferent, 
he was not in haste. Plenty of time for hos- 
pitality. But the old thought was not sup- 
pressed. His face was still set as if he would 
go up to Jerusalem. The next morning he 
moved with the moving crowds, as they has- 
tened along the sides of the Mount of Olives, 
towards the Holy City. Now there appeared 
a new diversion, and a new temptation. His 
company got the idea somehow that he was 



76 SERMONS 

going to the temple to be crowned King of the 
Jews. The children were especially eager in 
their loyalty and demonstration. He might 
have joined the demonstration and intensified 
enthusiasm. He might have made a marked 
occasion and a serious crisis. But he treated 
it discreetly. He neither rejected it nor joined 
it. He received it as an expression of genuine 
friendship and loyal enthusiasm. He did not 
make the mistake of accepting popular excite- 
ment for popular support, nor treating the 
love of his friends as a trifling matter. In a 
higher sense than Caesar, he was already a 
King, and yet he did not come in competition 
with Caesar or Pilate. In an hour the incident 
had passed and Jesus was where his thought 
had been all these months while his face had 
been set towards Jerusalem. Steadily as the 
months had passed he had pressed on to his 
purpose. 

He is like a great river which rolls on to the 
great sea. It does not stay in its course, and 
yet its banks are not neglected. There is 
not a garden left unwatered; there is not a 
tree left unfed. Every field is filtered; every 
flowery nook is found. Everything doth live 
wheresoever the river cometh. It never loi- 
ters beyond its time. It stays not for head- 
land or rock, for sand-bar or dyke. Having 



SERMONS 77 



enriched the whole country from the fountain 
to the mouth, it comes at last to the sea, bearing 
the wealth it has carried on its bosom. So 
Jesus never failed to bless the life he touched 
today, and never failed to reach the point he 
set for tomorrow. And here he is now wind- 
ing his way around Olivet, and coming to 
his destination amid palm branches and the 
songs of children. 

He never forgot the thing he was aiming at. 
The need he was interested in did not detain 
him; the cry to which he listened did not divert 
him. He had that remarkable poise which could 
enjoy the journey and yet keep the destination 
continually in mind. He never neglected the 
present nor forgot the future. The duties of 
today never obscured the destiny of tomorrow. 

Now he is among the shouts and palms of 
Olivet. We call it Palm Sunday and think of 
it as something final. But it is only one of the 
way-marks, like the dinner with Zacchaeus, — 
the shoutings at Jericho — the supper at Beth- 
any. He enjoyed them as he passed them, 
but he came on to what he had planned. He 
verified the words of the poet: 

"Not enjoyment, and not sorrow 

Is our destined end and way, 

But to live that each tomorrow 

Find us farther than today." 



78 SERMONS 



He was not as the ambitious youth who 
pressed on to the highest point and achieved 
an empty triumph; who, bearing his flag with 
its strange device, "Excelsior," stopped not 
for home nor friendship, and Hstened not to 
the cry of child, or call of service; who turned 
away from the comforts of home and friend 
till he planted his banner on the cheerless sum- 
mit. Jesus took in the life as he came along, 
and came to the end on which his face was set 
when he had reached his destination. 

A great deal is said in the Bible about fixed 
epochs. God has his set times. Providence 
moves forward to the beat of the centuries. 
There is a sort of schedule for the progress of 
history, and the orderly movements of the 
Kingdom. Parallel lines of history are timed 
to each other. The poets have a fancy that the 
Star of Bethlehem was a regular conjunction 
of planets, and that the history of Jesus was 
timed to that of the stars. Thus the three 
Wise-men met as by appointment and came 
together to Bethlehem. This is a poetic fancy, 
but back of it there is historic reality as sur- 
prising as this. When Jesus came there was 
apparently a feeling of expectancy, as if some 
new order was about to be introduced. The 
Magi were watching for it; Simeon and Anna 
were waiting their time in the temple; Herod 



SERMONS 79 



even was disturbed by a rumor. In line with 
all this, we read of the fullness of time. The 
material kingdom, the order of history, the 
expectations of men, were all set to the same 
hour. Jesus came as the stars come, as the 
sunrise returns at its appointed time, as history 
moves to its proper pulsation. It was the 
time of which the morning sang at creation's 
dawn; of which the holy prophets spake; of 
which the providence of God made note. 
Of the chosen saints the poet sings: 

"At the time appointed, 
He sends his angel down, 
To bear his own anointed 

Up to their throne and crown." 

Into this order Jesus came and lived his won- 
derful life. He touched every living interest; 
he heard every cry of need; he gave time to 
every sorrow on his way. Yet when the full- 
ness of time was come he was at his place. 
During all this gentle and timely service, his 
face was set to the final consummation. 

And now he has come to the Mount of 
Olives. He is passing up its sides. They 
think the day of coronation has come, and they 
cut down palm branches, and spread garments 
in the way as they would for the crown prince; 
they shout "Hosanna! Hosanna!" To him 
it was a passing incident. He was on his way 



8o SERMONS 



to where his face had been set. He appeared 
in the temple and began his work. It did not 
take long to develop the enemy. As he met 
the questions, and solved their plots, the con- 
spiracy grew stronger, and the garden and the 
Judgment Hall and the cross followed close. 
Towards this consummation of sacrifice and 
sorrow his face had been set these many 
months, and to it he had steadily moved 
from Galilee to the Jordan, from the Jordan 
to Jerusalem, from Jerusalem to Calvary. 
Through all the gentle scenes, through all 
the timely teaching, through the kindly deeds 
he has come without divergence, he has come 
to this final scene, and can now say, "I have 
finished the work thou gavest me to do. And 
now I come to thee." 

"From Heaven he came; of Heaven he 
spake, to Heaven he led his followers!" He 
taught in Capernaum and they listened; he 
called the fishers of Galilee and they followed ; 
he rested in Bethany, and his friends gathered 
about him; he hastened up Olivet and they 
followed him with palms and songs. The 
strong thought that was on his heart all these 
months made him a leader of men wherever 
he went. Whatever at the moment he was 
doing, his eye was on the distant goal that all 
the while he had respect to. He was going 



SERMONS 8i 



to the cross and the cross was the way to the 
crown. He was on his way to death but death 
was the gateway of Hfe. He each day did the 
work he came to and each day's work led to 
the next. And this brought him at last to 
the consummation on which he had all the 
while set his face. Every day's service was 
like a day's march. Day after day brought him 
along to Jordan and Jericho, to Bethany and 
Olivet. All the way along he had taught 
the people; all the way along he had healed 
the sick ; all the way along he had proclaimed the 
Kingdom of God. And now he was amid the 
palms and Hosannas. The priests and elders 
frowned; the disciples murmured; but the 
children shouted. And he rode on in calm 
consciousness and said to those who protested, 
"If these should hold their peace, the very 
rocks would cry out." A worthy occasion 
which demands expression will always find 
a tongue. 

Jesus never lost sight of the end, and never 
failed in the duty of the hour. He never 
neglected a crying child because he was think- 
ing of how the children would shout at Olivet. 
He never left a sick man by the wayside 
because the feast at Bethany was to be tomor- 
row night. He met the need of today and 



82 SERMONS 



thereby reached the appointed place for tomor- 
row's service. So it may be to us. 

We may "Each day pitch our moving tent, 
A day's march nearer home." You will all 
come to the end you keep in view. You will 
come to that towards which your face is set. 
You may not come rapidly, but you will come 
surely. Each day will bring you nearer. It 
is the steady race which wins the crown. It 
is the one who endures to the end. It is he 
who runs so as to obtain. It is to him that 
overcomes to whom God giveth a crown. 



VII 
"hold fast the profession of your faith" 

Hebrews lo: 23 

T T would make this passage clearer to render 
"*■ it, "Hold fast the faith you have pro- 
fessed." The author is writing to the Chris- 
tian disciples who are scattered abroad. They 
have suffered persecutions and losses on account 
of their faith. They were often well-nigh dis- 
couraged, and almost ready to abandon their 
faith. It cost something to be a Christian in 
that age. It cut a man off from worldly ad- 
vantages and exposed him to great annoyances. 
It shut him out from all his old associations; 
it excluded him from all profitable employ- 
ments, and it cut him off from all social recog- 
nition and political preferment. If he had 
property, it would be injured and perhaps 
broken up. At this particular time the Chris- 
tians were suffering even severer trials, for they 
were being driven from their houses, perse- 
cuted and tortured, and some of them had 
suffered death. 

This epistle was written to keep these perse- 
cuted disciples in heart, and to encourage 
them to fidelity and perseverance. "Hold 

83 



84 SERMONS 



fast the profession of your faith." Hold fast 
the faith you have professed. They had pro- 
fessed Jesus and had taken him as their por- 
tion. The epistle opens by showing whom it 
was they had believed. It was Jesus, the 
express image of God, the maker of the world. 
He was above the angels, for the angels must 
worship him. He was before Moses, for Moses 
was a servant, while he was a Son. He was 
before Aaron, for Aaron's priesthood was tem- 
porary while His priesthood was perpetual. 

Then the writer goes on to give examples of 
enduring faith from among the Jewish people, 
and he gives us that wonderful eleventh chap- 
ter which has been denominated the roll-call 
of the Bible saints. It is a rapid survey of the 
men and women in Jewish history who had 
stood in their places moving the world and ad- 
vancing the Kingdom. These all suffered 
losses and met disappointments, encount- 
ered obstacles, and carried burdens. They all 
worked for that they did not see, and strove 
for that they did not attain. But though they 
did not attain, they hastened the time when it 
should be attained. The good time coming 
never came to them, but it came nearer and 
it came sooner than it could have come with- 
out them. They helped to bring it on. 

Now the writer applies this thought to their 



SERMONS 85 



condition. Looking at these principles of 
truth, looking at these examples of fidelity — 
this cloud of witnesses — keep right on in your 
course, and run with patience the race set 
before you, looking unto Jesus, the Author and 
Finisher of your faith. Hold fast the faith 
you have professed. If you must give up 
everything for your faith, see to it that you do 
not let your faith slip too. Cling to that, for 
it is worth all the rest. Think of all there is 
in it of promise and inspiration and hope, and 
take the full comfort of it. Trust in it, for 
it is sure. Rejoice in it, for it is full of promise. 
Be satisfied with it, for it is sufficient. 

We have professed our faith in God as re- 
vealed in Jesus Christ. God is the foundation 
of all. Real faith in God supersedes every- 
thing else. If we trust really in God, our trust 
will never waver because our surroundings 
waver, any more than the house on the rock 
will shake when the floods dash about it. It 
rests on a deeper foundation than the circum- 
stances of our life. It keeps us steady when 
circumstances change. Its value is greater 
when other things give way. It would not be 
worth much if it failed us when other things 
fail. We do not doubt the sun when it goes 
behind a cloud, or sinks beneath the horizon 
at night. It would be a dreadful world to live 



86 SERMONS 



in if we did. We rest quietly at night because 
we know the sun is coming back in the morn- 
ing. Friendship was made for the dark day, 
and you would not value a friend who failed 
you when trouble came. Faith is of special 
worth when we cannot see, and when we can- 
not see is the time of all others that we should 
cling to our faith. You would not count him 
a very wise man who should abandon his spar 
because the waves were so high and land so 
far. That is the very time he needs his spar. 
You would not count him wise who should wear 
his life-preserver on deck on a sunny after- 
noon, and then leave it below when the storm 
came and he must take to the deep sea. Yet 
that is just the way many Christians regard 
their faith. They make much of it when all 
is prosperous, and let go their hold when adver- 
sity comes. If you trust God only while He 
is prospering you, your faith does not mean 
much and it is not worth much. An anchor 
is not worth much to a ship if the cable breaks 
when the strain comes. An anchor is not in- 
tended to prevent a storm or calm the waves, 
but it is intended to hold the ship. It is not 
a charm to still the seas, but a cable to hold the 
ship when a storm is on the sea. A life-pre- 
server is not intended to keep a man out of 
the water, but to keep him afloat when he is 



SERMONS 87 



in the water. The purpose of faith is not to 
prevent trials, but to enable a man to bear 
them, A great many people assume that the 
object of religion is to give a man an easy time — 
to prosper him in his affairs — to resolve his 
perplexities — and ward off his trials. We hear 
the remark often that a certain man's religion 
does not do him much good. He does not pros- 
per any better than his godless neighbors, and he 
has as many losses and disappointments and 
sorrows as his unbelieving friends. Sometimes 
it even seems as if a good man is singled out 
for tribulation and disaster. David himself 
once felt this way. "These are the ungodly 
who prosper in the land. They increase in 
riches." Did you ever hear a remark like 
that in this late day? 

But mistakes show the real significance of 
faith. The primal object of faith is to make 
a man strong. It is not to give a man an easy 
time, but to enable him to bear a rough time. 
It is not primarily to give a man prosperity, 
but to enable him to bear any fortune and profit 
by it. It is not to keep a man out of the con- 
flict, but to enable him to "bear hardness as 
a good soldier." The question is not as to 
a man's trials, but as to the result of them. 
The vital question is, how does he come out of 
them? It is not a point with the gold ore how 



SERMONS 



hot the furnace may be, but how does it come 
out of the furnace? Does it come out purified 
or blackened? Has it been enriched or has it 
been ruined? 

When we recount a man's experiences, the 
vital question is, how did he bear them? How 
did they affect him? How does he come out 
of them? What sort of man did they leave 
him? 

We cannot interpret our lives any more than 
we can forecast them. If we could always 
know what they mean, and where they are 
coming to, there would not be so great a call 
for faith. But the larger portion of our life 
we must receive on trust. We can see goodness 
in it only as we know God is good. We pass 
under clouds through which no light shines, 
except there be light from above. The glory 
of our faith is that it can trust where it cannot 
see. It is not art to trust when we can see, 
and of no great benefit, either. Ingersoll says 
it is a strange thing that Jesus would cry out 
when on the Cross: "My God, My God, why 
hast thou forsaken me?" But I have often 
blessed God that he has left that word on record. 
It shows that Jesus our Saviour went down to 
the depths of human experience, as we must 
go. For every man has known something of 
what these words express. Have you not 



SERMONS 89 



yourselves been where that thought was in 
your heart, even if those words did not come 
to your Hps? Has there not been a time when 
it seemed as if your last desire had been 
denied — your last request refused? The cup 
you prayed might pass has been forced to your 
lips; the heavens have seemed brass above you, 
and the earth has seemed a desert beneath you. 
You have gone out into a night that had no 
stars, and you waited for a morning that 
brought no sun. In such an hour, the heart 
cried out, "though the lips moved not:" "My 
God, My God, why hast thou forsaken me?" 
At such a time it has been an unspeakable 
relief to remember that he whom God surely 
loved went down into the same depths and 
uttered the same cry. It is not a sign that 
God has forsaken us because the last extremity 
is permitted to come. What seems the extrem- 
ity to us is not so to God. 

Many years ago we were reading out of the 
Gospels in the course of our morning worship. 
We had come to the account of the Cruci- 
fixion. As we read, the story seemed unsually 
vivid. We read how Jesus went in silence 
from Pilate's judgment hall to Calvary, bear- 
ing his cross till he could bear it no longer and 
then another must bear it for him. We read 
how the soldiers took him and nailed him to 



90 SERMONS 



the cruel cross, casting lots for his clothes; how 
the multitude gathered about him as he hung 
on the cross, and mocked him. One said: 
"Let the King of Israel come down from the 
cross, and we will believe him. Thou that de- 
stroyest the temple and in three days buildest 
it again, save thyself." Another replied: "He 
saved others, himself he cannot save." And 
another said: "He trusted in God, let God 
deliver him now, if he wants him." Another, 
more bold still, shouted to the sufferer: "If 
thou be the Son of God, come down from the 
cross." Just before me sat our daughter, then 
a child, following the story with intense inter- 
est and growing indignation. I could see she 
was mightily moved. As I came to these 
words, "If thou be the Son of God, come down 
from the cross," she could contain herself no 
longer, and spoke out in her impulsive way, 
"Why didn't he come down?" Yes, why didn't 
he come down? I presume we have all asked 
that question many and many a time. Why 
didn't he come down and confront His foes 
then and there? Why didn't he come down 
and end all controversy as to his divine au- 
thority and power? Why didn't he come down? 
No answer. Christ never comes down from 
the cross, either in his own person or in the 
person of his disciples. They are all made to 



SERMONS 91 



bear until "It is finished." They see not the 
promise though they witness a good report. 
"Not accepting deliverance" is the testimony 
of them all, and it is the testimony of common 
life as well. Again and again there is no light- 
ening of the lot, no lifting of the load, no turn- 
ing away of the blow. The blow comes — 
and comes hard, too. "Made perfect through 
suffering" was not the truth alone of the Cap- 
tain of our Salvation. It is true of his followers 
as well. His people bear about in their own 
bodies the dying of the Lord. How the noblest 
men have suffered the tide, and been submerged 
at the last! How the gentlest spirits have 
felt the grinding of a hard life and never known 
a respite! How the most beautiful characters 
have shown out of the darkest experience! 
How the loveliest have borne the longest, and 
not at eventide could there be said, "There 
was light." 

Some years ago I ran across a verse which 
very vividly expresses this idea. It was 
credited to some unknown English poet. I 
used the verse in an article which was quite 
extensively copied. Shortly after, I received 
a letter from Samuel Hoyt, of Amesbury, 
Massachusetts, a life-long friend of Whittier, 
Parton, and other well known poets. He said 
the verse was by Helen Hunt Jackson. He 



92 SERMONS 



had it in his scrap-book and would send me a 
copy of the entire poem, which I have never 
seen anywhere else. Only that one verse, 
however, illustrates my thought. 

"Is it true, O Christ in Heaven, 

That the purest suffer most? 
And the strongest wander farthest 

And most helplessly are lost? 
Is the mark of rank in nature 

But capacity for pain? 
Does the anguish of the singer 

Make the sweetness of the strain?" 

When a good man is in trouble, we often 
turn upon him and ask, "What good does his 
faith do him now^? " The foes of David caught 
this thought and taunted him with it. "As 
with a sword in my bones mine enemies re- 
proach me while they say daily unto me, 
'Where is now thy God?'" It was easy to 
talk of God in prosperous times — where is he 
now you are in trouble? It was well enough to 
boast of God when everything went right. 
But where is he now everything is in confusion, 
and all things seem to turn against you? It 
was easy enough to meditate upon his watch- 
fulness and care when your flocks were safely 
feeding in the green pastures of Judea, or ly- 
ing down by the still waters of Bethlehem. 
But where was he when the lion and the bear 
came down upon the sheep? It was all very 



SERMONS 93 



well to talk of God when you stood upon the 
heights, safely viewing the movements of the 
hostile armies as they met in battle. But 
how was it when the giant came striding 
towards you over the plains with his spear like 
a weaver's beam? It was very sweet and 
pretty to hear you talk of faith in God when 
you came from the victory and the maidens 
met you singing, "Saul has slain his thousands 
and David his ten thousands." But how was 
it when Saul's jealousy drove you from his 
house? It was very beautiful to sing Jeho- 
vah's praises when you were playing upon 
your loved harp and charming your monarch 
and his court in the palace of the king. But 
how was it when the king's countenance was 
changed towards you and you were driven to 
the mountains to hide in caves and thickets, 
when a price was set upon your head and you 
were hunted like a wild beast in the woods? 
Where now is thy God? What is he doing 
for you now? David himself is almost puzzled 
for an answer. "Like a sword in my bones 
was their reproach." "My feet had well-nigh 
slipped." Not till he came into the sanctuary 
of God, into the Divine center of vision, did 
he see how it was. Then it was all plain. The 
Lord did not protect him from the inroad of 
the lion and the bear, but he nerved his arm 



94 SERMONS 



to beat them back. He did not shelter him 
in some secluded valley where the giant could 
not find him, but he steadied his hand as he 
slung the stone and brought the giant down 
and saved the armies of Israel and the land 
of his fathers. He did not hide him in the cleft 
of some rock and feed him till Saul had ceased 
his persecution, but he led him through an 
experience which quickened his perceptions 
and developed his ingenuity, and so prepared 
him for leadership in the after years. How 
much of David's wonderful success in war, in 
diplomacy and in statesmanship, was the result 
of the wit quickened by the straits and emer- 
gencies of his early life, we may never know. 
But we may be sure of this much at least; 
David would never have been the man he was 
and never the king he was, had it not been 
for the discipline of those early years, which 
at the time so severely tried him. He after- 
wards saw something of what God had done 
for him. When again they asked him, "Where 
is now thy God?" he could say: "Surely good- 
ness and mercy have followed me all the days 
of my life and I will dwell in the house of the 
Lord (or, under the care of the Lord) forever." 
The ship sails out proudly from port and 
runs delightfully for many days. At last a 
storm comes up and sun and stars are not seen. 



SERMONS 95 



The sails are torn from the masts ; the bulwarks 
are swept away; and the waves roll over the 
deck. Everybody is drenched and dreary and 
cold, and hope is almost gone. With all that 
helm and sail can do the ship can only lie to 
and drift like a water-soaked log. Now they 
taunt the captain who has boasted so much 
of his ship. They ask, in derision, "What do 
you say for your ship now?" As confident as 
ever, he replies, "She was built for a time like 
this.^ Other ships may outdo her in the calm, 
or outsail her before a fair breeze, but she was 
built strong and wisely planned, so that when 
all else fails and nothing more can be done, she 
can lie to and drift and wait till the storm is 
past. Then she can bring her crew and pas- 
sengers home to their desired haven. She 
was not made to escape the tempest, but to en- 
dure it and live through it." 

Our faith should be for the time that tests 
it. However wild the storm, we trust the God 
who rules the storm. No matter how dark 
and long the night, we trust the God of the 
morning. As we stand in the middle of the 
night, it may not add a single star to the sky, 
or throw a single ray of light on our path, but 
we endure the darkness, and wait with vastly 
greater patience and courage when we know 
that the sun will rise again at six o'clock in the 



96 SERMONS 



morning. As we stand in the middle of the 
winter and the air is full of frost, and the ground 
is buried in snow, and the waters of lake and 
river are locked in ice, it may not put a single 
leaf on the tree, or a single blade of grass on 
the plain, or a single flower on the hillside but 
it makes the winter vastly more endurable and 
our lives vastly more cheerful to know that on 
the 2 1 St of March the sun will return to this 
northern hemisphere and begin to warm the 
earth for another season. "Roses will -come 
again," and "It will be summer by-and-by." 
Faith may not banish our difficulties, but it 
gives meaning to the conflict by which we over- 
come them. It does not lift our loads for us, 
but we are made strong to carry them. It 
does not restore our losses, or fill our loneliness, 
or dry our tears; but losses and loneliness and 
tears become less desolate when we know that 
"Though weeping may endure for a night, joy 
cometh in the morning." And that "He that 
goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed, 
shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bear- 
ing his sheaves with him." It may not steady 
the earth when it quakes, but it steadies our 
souls amid the rocking when we know that 
there are things which cannot be shaken, and 
that we receive a kingdom which cannot be 
moved. 



VIII 
"the days of our years" 

Psalm 90 : 10 

rr^HE ending of the year is always an epoch 
^ in our lives. No matter how lightly 
we regard it, we cannot pass it without some- 
thing of a start. It is a milestone on the road 
which we have never passed before and shall 
never pass again. We carry with us what we 
have gathered, and what we have left is beyond 
our reach. The days of our years may be 
ever so full and yet we may go on empty ; they 
may be ever so rich, and yet we go from them 
poor. But empty or poor though we may be, 
we cannot go back to gather what we have 
left behind. It was ours once but it is ours 
no more. If we redeem the time it will enrich 
us, if we neglect our opportunity we go on 
with pauperized lives. When the door is 
open, no man may shut it against us; when the 
door is shut, no man may open it for us. 

The "Days of Our Years" have passed very 
gently. They made no sound as they went 
by. But they changed the face of all the 
things they touched. They fell like snow- 
flakes, silent and soft, but like the snowflakes 
7 97 



98 SERMONS 



they change the face of all the earth. Every 
year gives another touch, and before we note 
what is going on, the whole scene is changed. 
Time moves on without a sound, building up 
the limbs of childhood, strengthening the 
arms of manhood, and fulfilling the counsels 
of manhood. So quietly have they borne us 
along that we were hardly aware of the mov- 
ing, yet here we are looking back over the long 
line of our journey. As we note the shifting 
scene it seems almost like a dream. Like 
the woman in the nursery rhyme, we are 
inclined to cry, "Surely it is not I." Others 
may see no romance in our lives. But there 
is no romance like that of a man's experience. 
In fact there is no other romance. The heart 
feels its own as none else can feel it. "The 
heart knoweth its own bitterness, and a 
stranger intermeddleth not with its joy." We 
are amused at the glow with which men tell of 
the commonplace incidents of their lives. But 
we do not realize the personal touch which 
makes commonplace things seem vital. The 
average talker is dreary, because he does not 
realize that what has stirred him may be a 
matter of indifference to another. A mother 
telling of the words and doings of her child, 
seems dismal, if not amusing to us. But it 
is all alive to her. There is nothing really 



SERMONS 99 



commonplace to a man which touches his 
own Hfe. 

"A commonplace life, we say and we sigh, 

But why do we sigh as we say? 
A commonplace sun in a commonplace sky 

Maketh the commonplace day; 
The moon and the stars are commonplace things; 

And the flowers that bloom, and the birds that sing; 
But dark were the world, and sad our lot, 

If the flowers failed, and the sun shone not. 
But God who studies each separate soul. 

Out of commonplace things makes the beautiful whole." 

What seems commonplace to us may be 
romance to those who are in it. We stand 
mute sometimes beside an open grave. A 
grief has touched another which we do not 
feel. But when we stand there with a grief 
of our own, we know what the romance of 
human life can mean. The shadows refuse 
to rise, and the wounds refuse to heal. One 
of my earliest recollections is that of standing 
by the grave of a little brother. I was too 
young to realize the import of the scene, and 
my most vivid remembrance is of wondering 
why my mother wept and sobbed so. Thus 
we often look on a sorrow whose point we do 
not feel. We do not see what sharpens the 
thorn for another's flesh. 

It is the days of our years which slip away 
from us so easily. W'e should be more choice 



100 SERMONS 



of the years. But the days slip away unnoticed 
and the days carry the years with them. A 
lost day seems a trifle, but a few days lost, and 
the year is gone. 

"Why do we heap huge mounds of years 

Before us and behind; 
And scorn the little days that pass, 

Like angels on the wind? 
Each turning round a small, sweet face 

As beautiful, as near; 
Because it is so small a face 

We do not see it clear. 
And so it turns from us and goes 

Away in sad disdain; 
Though we would give our lives for it, 

It never comes again." 

So each day goes — used or unused — well 
spent or ill spent — redeemed or wasted — but 
however they are spent they go into the irrepar- 
able past. 

"The days of our years" have been busy 
years. They have moved very quietly, but 
they have wrought wonders in their noiseless 
flight. As they passed we paid little heed, but 
as we look back how changed the prospect 
is. One character at a time passed off and one 
character at a time came on. But how a few 
years have changed the grouping around us. 
Few as the days of our years have been, what 
marvelous transformations they have wrought. 



SERMONS loi 



They seemed trifles to those who looked on, 
but they meant everything to those involved. 
We have seen homes gathered and homes 
broken; we have seen joyful hearts made sad 
and sad hearts made joyful; we have seen the 
solitary set in families, and happy homes made 
desolate. We have seen fortunes made and 
fortunes lost. The poor boy of our youth is 
the millionaire of today, and the millionaire 
of years ago is today wondering where his 
dinner is to come from. We have seen the 
lowly lifted and the mighty cast down; we 
have seen the unknown come into prominence, 
and the well-known pass from sight. We have 
seen obscure names rise like a star in the heav- 
ens, and we have seen bright names clouded 
as in midnight gloom. Thus they have come 
and thus they have gone, and thus they have 
been coming and going since time began. 

The year just passing has been like the rest. 
With some it has left no special mark, with 
others it has burned its story into their souls 
as with letters of fire. With some it will be 
distinguished for its brightness which will 
gild all the years ahead; with others it will 
carry gloom which will darken the days to 
come. The voice they loved most to hear is 
no longer heard, and the name which sounded 
sweetest is now spoken but in whispers and 



102 SERMONS 



in tears. But behind every cloud there is a 
light, and none need sing the song of despair. 

" My soul from out that shadow shall be lifted Nevermore." 
" For taking the years together there is no more night than 
day." 

From every shadow the soul may be lifted 
into the light, for a hope lost may be a new 
hope born. 

"And the glad life music, now heard no longer here, 
Shall come again to greet us — as we are drawing near." 

The days of our years have flitted by like 
shadows on the hillside. Joy and sorrow, 
light and darkness, have chased each other 
across our sky. We have had reason "To 
bless the favoring gale" when we have sailed 
through unruffled seas; and we have waited 
for light " In the midnight of the soul." 

Yet the days of our years have left some- 
thing with us as they flitted by. They passed 

"Like snowflakes on the river, 
A moment white, then gone forever." 

But even the snowflakes increase the volume 
of the stream. The days of our years are 
gone before we realize they are here, but they 
add to the volume of our life. They leave with 
us what our souls absorb, and we shall be in 
the coming days what our past has made us. 
We may accumulate wisdom and knowledge 



SERMONS 103 



and character, and be enriched in life or we may 
let it all flow by us while we remain paupers in 
our spirits. A light purse is as nothing com- 
pared with an impoverished soul. For sunny 
memories warm the life, as the noonday sun 
warms the night, or the midsummer is remem- 
bered by the storms of midwinter. 

Everything is the richer for what it has 
passed through. Even a song means more 
every time it is sung. It brings to us memo- 
ries as well as music, and it strikes other chords 
besides those on the staff. Words grow rich 
as they grow old, and they gather force as they 
pass from lip to lip. They carry something 
of the voice and tone and sentiment. 

How the old haunts and the old paths keep 
their tales for us. No panorama can compare 
with the pictures which an old familiar path 
can show us in a walk through a well remem- 
bered wood. All along we see faces and scenes 
and hear voices and songs which made the 
years of long ago so full of fresh delight. A 
company invisible to the rest passes before 
our eyes, and voices none else can hear fill the 
air for us. There is an old oak tree near my 
father's house which is a well filled story-book 
to me. There we boys used to sit and plan 
for the future. When we were last together, 
coming from all over the land we sat under that 



104 SERMONS 



old tree all afternoon, and arranged for the old 
homestead when we should be scattered again. 
That tree seems to have kept a diary of all that 
passed beneath its shade. No phonograph 
could retain the faces and the stories and the 
songs as the branches of that old oak retain 
and repeat them to those who have the key. 

"The meadow has a tale for us, the lane its storied hour, 

Companions in each hedge we hail, a friend in every flower; 
Thus half forgotten as we stand, amid the haunts of youth. 
The golden past asserts for us, its strength of love and truth. '' 

No one need be lonely whose past has en- 
riched him. If companions are lacking, the 
friends of other days will crowd about him, and 
the memories of other days will flood his 
thoughts and brighten the hours. 

And gloom remains as well as brightness. 
How a malicious man must dread to be alone. 
How he must strive to shut out the dark and 
dismal past. Under his present there ever 
flows a dark tide, like a river under ground, — 
never seen, but ever flowing, and ever heard. 

"There is a river drear and lone, 
That flows in noiseless undertone, 
Through caverns dark and gulfs profound, 
A silent river under ground. 

"The ghostly boatmen on it glide. 
The ripples lap against the side. 
The oars dip in, but still no sound, 
This silent river under ground." 



SERMONS 105 



And results remain as well as memories. 
"My days are like a weaver's shuttle," said 
Job. Like a weaver's shuttle every day car- 
ries a thread which becomes a part of the 
fabric, and a part of the pattern. Once woven 
no man may unravel the threads, or change 
the pattern. But God puts our broken threads 
together, and completes our unfinished web. 

"Others shall sing the songs, 
Others shall right the wrong, 
Finish what we begin; 
What matters, we or they; 
Ours or another's day: 
So the right word be said, 
And life the sweeter made." 



IX 

"l WILL REMEMBER ALL THE WAY" 
Deut. 8:2 

WE all carry a picture gallery in our hearts. 
It is filled with pictures of the scenes 
we have passed. Pleasant and painful, sunny 
and shady, peaceful and wild, they alternate 
all along the course of our lives. Again and 
again, in a dreamy mood, we "remember all 
the way." Often the earliest are the choicest, 
as some old picture of centuries ago is often 
the prized of all the treasures of art. 

What I may call my first recollection is as 
distinct as anything in my thought. After 
months of travel out of the dim mysteries of 
childhood, our people went into the Michigan 
woods, and set themselves down on a beautiful 
knoll overlooking lakes and meadows, woods 
and plains, — a lovely spot, but with no neigh- 
bors for miles. A shanty roofed with hay 
served for shelter while the log-cabin was being 
built, and we cooked our meals beside a great 
white-oak log outside. It was autumn, and 
father and the older boys worked every day 
in the woods to get our cabin ready before 

106 



SERMONS 107 



winter set in. I was six, and I had a brother, 
Willie, of four years. We were constant com- 
panions. To the rest we might seem lonely, 
but for Willie and me every bush had a tongue, 
and the birds sang but for us all day long, 
while the whippoorwill kept singing into the 
night. As it was with Tom Hood, 

"Morn never came a wink too soon, 
Nor brought too long a day." 

We were together, and everywhere together. 
He was bright and full of life, chasing butter- 
flies and hunting flowers all day. He was so 
fond of flowers that he would bring his arms 
full of goldenrod every night to mother. He 
was quaint and witty and bright, and kept 
us laughing all the time. The autumn sped 
apace, and we were compelled to go into the 
cabin before it was quite completed. It was 
all the great fireplace could do to keep the air 
warm which came in at the many openings. 
Willie and I were now shut in by the winter 
storms. He was the same as ever. However 
dark the day, he was a bit of sunshine within. 
The weeks went by slowly, and March came. 
It had been a hard, long winter, and Willie 
was growing less lively. One morning he did 
not get up to breakfast. I could not under- 
stand why he did not come, but Mother went 



io8 SERMONS 



often to his bedside. When I went to him, he 
did not know me, and when I touched him, 
he only said, "You mustn't; hurts." About 
the fourth day some neighbors came in, and 
the minister, and they sang and prayed. Then 
Mother took me by the hand, and we walked 
over to a beautiful spot across the field and 
put Willie in the grave. I looked up at Mother 
and saw tears trickling down her cheeks. She 
seldom cried, and I wondered what it all 
meant. In all the years after, Mother had a 
little flower garden where the mound had been, 
and I often found her there on Sunday after- 
noon, sitting and reading her Bible. 

But Willie did not walk with me any more. 
The other boys were older than I, and I was 
left alone to people the woods with soldiers 
and knights, with forts and castles, with moats 
and drawbridges, and all the wondrous things 
which filled a boy's imagination. I have 
often wondered what I lost from my life by 
Willie going from me so early. 

This is one of the first pictures in my mem- 
ory, and yet it is as vivid as if it were yester- 
day, — that lovely autumn in the woods, that 
dreary winter in the cabin, and that myste- 
rious, wierd walk with Mother to that point by 
the hillside. It was a shadow over my life, 
"and my soul from out that shadow . . . 



SERMONS 109 



shall be lifted nevermore." This is a personal 
picture, but perhaps you have one near enough 
like it to understand it. 

A more public event gives a more public 
recognition. The first great steamboat dis- 
aster is as vividly in my mind as if it had been 
a personal matter. I had never seen a steam- 
boat, but heard one morning that the Buffalo 
boat had been burned to the water's edge, and 
most of the crew and passengers had perished 
in the flames. Among the passengers were 
many friends and neighbors from Ann Arbor, 
and gloom spread over the whole community. 
Long as it is ago, that hangs over that point 
in my memory as the black smoke might hang 
for hours over the spot where a burning steamer 
went down. 

A national picture will bring us more near 
the occasion which brings us here this morning. 
The annexation of Texas was one of the chief 
issues in the campaigns of 1840 and 1844. 
In 1844 Polk was elected as the friend of annex- 
ation. General Taylor had been in Western 
Texas with a small army of observation, as 
they called it. As soon as it was decided to 
hold the boundary of the Rio Grande, General 
Taylor crossed the river into Mexico and won 
victories at Matamoras and Monterey. Then, 
instead of waiting for new volunteer troops, 



1 10 SERMONS 



he pushed on into Mexico with his Httle army 
of 5,000 men. We heard of him, but we all 
felt anxious for his fate. Then came the ugly 
rumors that Santa Anna, the Mexican presi- 
dent and warrior, was coming upon him with 
20,000 men. We were all in a ferment of fear 
and indignation. We thought Taylor had been 
betrayed by his political enemies, who were 
jealous of the prestige he was gaining by his 
victories. There was great difference of opin- 
ion as to the wisdom of the war, but all parties 
felt alike as to the duty of sustaining Taylor. 
The heart of the whole country beat as the 
heart of one man in patriotic sympathy with the 
brave men who were imperilled among the 
Mexican mountains. But in a few days the 
news came that Taylor had engaged Santa 
Anna and scattered his great army to the four 
winds. Then was our fear turned into laugh- 
ter, and we were "as they that dream." And 
this picture has hung on the walls of our mem- 
ory as clear and distinct as it was when it first 
took its place. The heat of our great interest 
fastened the colors as the heated oven fastens 
the colors in the decorating of the choicest 
china. 

As we come down, our pictures will interest 
a wider circle. In the spring of '6i, we came 
from our home in Michigan to our home in 



SERMONS III 



Kansas. We crossed Missouri by Hannibal 
Railroad in April. The whole country was in 
a fever of excitement and men's hearts were 
failing them for fear of what was coming upon 
the earth. The next morning the Confedera- 
tion fired on Sumter, and what men feared 
began to come. Missouri was in arms, her 
river blockaded, her railroads torn up, and 
travel impossible anywhere. The whole land 
was instantly divided into two hostile camps, 
and men flew at each other like the meeting 
of opposing tides at sea. The farmer left his 
plough; the herdsman left his flock; the lawyer 
left his client; and the doctor left his patient; 
and all rushed to save the country. A com- 
pany gathered just back of our house. Many 
of them were old friends, and they were as a 
part of our household. They came in as they 
would for change or rest, and some of them 
often sat with us at our evening meal. One 
morning our special friend came bounding in 
and cried, "We are ordered off. Good-bye!" 
And they went as happy as if to a feast. A 
few days after was the deadly battle of Wil- 
son's Creek, and some of the boys who went a 
few days before never came again. You may 
be sure that picture hangs in our memorial 
gallery. 

Two years later, the outlook seemed very 



112 . SERMONS 



dark. The sides were nearly matched so that 
the issue seemed very doubtful. But the 
Fourth of July it lightened all around the sky, 
and there were victories at Gettysburg, Vicks- 
burg and Port Huron. They were so decisive 
that Lincoln saw they foreshadowed the end. 
He ordered that August 6th should be observed 
as a day of thanksgiving. I was supplying 
our new mission on Main Street for three weeks, 
using the principal hall. The churches of 
Kansas were indifferent to the President's 
proclamation, or worse. They all ignored the 
day. I determined there should be one loyal 
service in Kansas City. It was a curious 
conglomeration. There were our own people, 
there were soldiers and officers from the camps, 
and there were strangers who proved to be 
members of Quantrill's guerilla band. The 
service seemed the proper thing for the occa- 
sion, and all went away glad that day had not 
been passed over in Kansas City. 

After my time expired, we returned to our 
home in Lawrence. We enjoyed it just one 
day. At daybreak, August 21st, Quantrill's 
band pounced upon us, destroyed the town, 
murdered one hundred and fifty of our citi- 
zens, and left all without homes, with the task 
of burying the dead. The funeral season was 



SERMONS 113 



protracted and various, but the services were 
many and brief. 

"Few and short were the prayers we said, 
And we spake not a word of sorrow, 
But we steadfastly gazed on the face of the dead, 
And bitterly thought of the morrow." 

You may be sure we also hung this picture in 
its order in our collection, and it has lost noth- 
ing of its colors or its distinctness in the pass- 
ing years. 

There are many other pictures just as dis- 
tinct as these, but to note them all would be to 
obscure them all. One more only of this 
series can be pointed out. 

After two years more of strenuous struggle 
came Lee's surrender and the return of peace. 
All were rejoiced. The Union had been pre- 
served, the national authority had been main- 
tained; slavery had been destroyed, and all 
that we fought for had been secured. Even 
the South was satisfied that she could go home 
and rest. But right in the midst of our re- 
joicing came the darkest day of all, the "winter 
of our discontent." 

Lee had surrendered; Lincoln had been to 
Richmond, and the terms of peace had been 
agreed upon; the armies were going, and the 
country was rejoicing. Then five days after 
Lee's surrender, April 14th, our beloved Presi- 



114 SERMONS 



dent Lincoln, who had led us through the War 
and met all the tremendous issues as they arose 
in such a wonderful manner, was foully mur- 
dered. No one knew whence it came, or what 
it meant. It occurred Friday evening, and 
we heard of it Saturday morning. Arrange- 
ments were made at once for memorial services 
the next day in the old stone church. Skilful 
hands draped the church in graceful folds of 
black; while folded flags still more expressed 
the common thought. The choir prepared 
appropriate music, and I prepared a sermon in 
line with the occasion. The fears of what might 
come soon subsided, but the sorrow for what 
had come hung like a dark cloud for many 
days. The sentiment of that memorial serv- 
ice was fresh in our minds long after the scenes 
had passed by. We did not forget to hang 
this picture in our memorial hall, and we just 
touch upon it today as we "remember all the 
way." Peace remained and prosperity came 
apace, but we did not forget the days of sorrow 
and of gloom. They hung over us still, just 
as the clouds do after the storm has passed on. 
May I draw the slide once more, and show 
a scene far down the line, as I "remember all 
the way?" There have been great changes, 
great prosperity and great expansion. The 
world does not recognize the change, and we 



SERMONS 115 



do not realize our strength. Somehow we 
have drifted into a war for the deliverance of 
Cuba. Again there is an eager rush to the 
country's defense. 

We draw the slide again right here in Ply- 
mouth. It is early morning and the church 
is crowded with an eager throng. It is all 
flags and flowers, and music and shouts. A 
company of our own boys came in, just as the 
boys came in forty years ago. They were 
right from our homes, our church, and our 
boys' brigade. The officers of the boys' bri- 
gade are the officers. They are from our homes, 
and Sunday school, and friends. As they go 
away the multitude shouts, and the boys 
bravely respond. And we sing as they go, 

" Brave boys are they, 
Gone at their country's call; 

And yet, and yet, we cannot forget 
How many brave boys must fall." 

We soon began to hear of their soldierly quali- 
ties and soldierly conduct in far Manila Bay. 
Their bravery and bearing won for them a 
high place among their new comrades, and the 
Twentieth Kansas became the pride of our 
state, and Company "H" became the pride of 
Lawrence. 

In February the Philippinos made a vicious 
attack on our lines at night. Our boys were 



ii6 SERMONS 



ordered out to the firing-line. They had never 
been under fire before, but they stood their 
ground Hke veterans. But as they were push- 
ing the enemy steadily back, a bullet struck 
our own Fred, and he was the first of our Kan- 
sas boys to fall. A few months later we had 
another scene in Plymouth Church. Again it 
was adorned with flags, and again the crowd 
packed the house. But this time it was the 
emblems of mourning, and the service of sorrow 
and consolation. We sang as they went away, 

" Brave boys are they, 
Gone at their country's call; 

And yet, and yet, we cannot forget 
How many brave boys must fall." 

Then we rejoiced as they went to their duty; 
now we sorrowed over those who had fallen 
in doing their country the service they owed 
and pledged her. 

These are but a few of many which I might 
show as I "remember all the way." You 
can bring out many scenes which will be more 
distinct then I can make these. They will be 
personal, domestic and public. The loved 
who blessed your home, the companion that 
cheered your life, the hero that stirred your 
blood. Out of the past you will bring them 
today, as you "remember all the way." As 
you recall them, you will crown them. This 



SERMONS 117 



day is the crowning for the friends who have 
passed on. 

As you recall the old friends, put the chaplet 
on. Bring flowers as fresh as the love they 
bespeak. It may be the simplest, and be all 
it need be. A violet laid upon its mother's 
grave by a loving child means more than a 
bunch of costly roses sent by the hand of a 
servant. Send the flowers you love, and the 
flowers they love. They shall stand for the 
love that still is fresh, and they shall stand for 
the faith that never fails. 

This is Memorial Day. There has been 
enough in any of our lives to show the signifi- 
cance of such a day. All that has impressed 
us as we came along has left its impress here. 
As we "remember all the way," they will pass 
before us. The old scenes and the old faces 
will come to us once more. What impressed 
you as you passed it will come distinctly before 
you as you review it. The vivid scenes of your 
life will be the vivid pictures of your Memo- 
rial Gallery. You will not forget what so 
distinctly left its mark. The old soldier will 
not forget the war of the Rebellion. He 
will not forget the day of his enlistment, and 
he will not forget the first smoke of battle. He 
will not forget the night march in the storm, 
nor the camp in the snow. He will not forget 



Ii8 SERMONS 



his mess-mates, nor the men who marched with 
him, nor the comrade who fell by his side in the 
fight. If he should live a thousand years, the 
four in the army would furnish more material 
for thought than all the rest. 

Bring flowers and crown the heroes you have 
left behind. Let it be flowers and flags — 
flags to mark the spot, and flowers to crown 
the heroes. Bring the flowers you love, and 
the flowers they loved. Bring roses with their 
affection. Bring the carnation with its blush. 
Bring the simplest as well as the rare. 

Bring your flowers and crown the friends 
whose faces come. Live over again the scenes 
which once stirred you. Revive the old friend- 
ships as you "remember all the way." 



NUGGETS 

It is not how far we have walked but which way we are 
walking. 

God measures not by the size of the gift but by the strength 
of the giver; not by what the gift is worth, but by what it 
costs him that brings it; not by the weight of the load, but by 
the strength of him who carries it. 

A man will do according to what he is. 

A man may fail of fortune but need not fail himself. 

A man is a fool not to be what he can be because he can't 
be what he would be. 

A man grows towards what he thinks upon and loves. He 
that looks up has begun to rise. He that looks to God has 
begun the journey toward God. 

Every advance opens the way for advance; if a man be satis- 
fied with the past he will have no future. 

The true disciple never feels that he has attained. The 
points gained are but steps towards the point sought. The 
road traveled is only on the way to the destination. 

The needs of today are not satisfied with the supplies of 
yesterday, and the duties of today are not done by the fidelity 
of yesterday. 

The Kingdom of God is the reign of God in the hearts of 
men. It is Christ formed within, molding the spirit and the 
conduct to himself. It is a living thing in a living heart 
repeating itself in other hearts. It is life touching life. It 
is life transforming life. Thus the Kingdom grows and thus 
the truth extends. 

Men influence each other according to what they are, and 
not according to what they seem to be, or say they are. It is 
the Christ in men's lives which wins men to Christ. 

You need all the sails you have, and you may fling them all 
to the breeze. But unless you have a rudder, the more sails, 

119 



120 NUGGETS 



the more peril. Fill your life as full of joy as you can, but 
bring it all under the pressure of divine obligation. 

The teacher may excuse from the lesson, but that is a dif- 
ferent thing from learning the lesson. God may spare you 
the cross but that will not win you the crown. You may 
keep the metal from the fire, but that will not refine it. 

The men who have given the world its best things have never 
stopped to ask what the price might be. 

Responsibility is not a burden but a privilege. A grand 
service is not a hardship but a favor. 

Faith in Christ is self-convincing. It is its own best proof. 

Some travellers were encamped on the shore of a beautiful 
lake whose waters at times were disturbed as if moved by 
an unseen force. Exploration revealed the fact that the lake 
was connected with the great ocean and so felt the heave and 
swell of its mighty bosom. Even so it is our privilege to be 
in touch with the great heart of God and respond in some 
measure to impulses which have their source in him. 

A wasted summer is a pauper's winter, a neglected school is 
a dunce's life. An unimproved life opens to an empty 
eternity. 

A man's wants are within him. They are not in the things 
that satisfy him. A man's wants are the measure of himself. 
The more he wants the more there is of him. A new want 
means a new capacity. He grows larger as his wants increase. 

Cultivate the field you are in, and you will find enough to 
do. You need not go to the slums to found a social settle- 
ment. Make a social settlement of the community in which 
you live. If you would serve the Master, get near to some- 
body. Go near enough to the life to know what is needed 
and how you can be of the most service. 

The best part of many things is the desire for them. That a 
man should desire them is an enrichment. You can have all 
the best things. The wish for them opens the door for them. 
If you hunger and thirst after righteousness you will be 
filled. 

To them who hunger for righteousness it comes as the air 
comes in the evening, as the waters find their way to the sea. 



NUGGETS 121 



The breath of God is Hke the breath of life. We need but 
breathe to be filled. 

God never treats a prayer with indifference. 

That is always most manly which is most natural: that is 
always most brave which is most true. It is not manly to be 
insensible, it is not manly to be indifferent. 

Knowledge is a measure of being. A man grows as he learns 
and learns as he grows. 

Any man's service will be acceptable who stays where Christ 
found him and does what Christ bids him. So long as he is 
doing what Christ left for him to do, he need not sigh for higher 
work nor for a better place. The work at hand is always the 
work to be done and the work to be done will always be recog- 
nized and rewarded. 

You can judge a man by what he likes best. His taste will 
define him. If his tastes are low, he will easily drop to their 
level. 

When a man takes religion into his home, it is not something 
he can put away on the shelf, like a new piece of statuary, 
or in the front parlor, like a new piano. But it is like letting 
light into his home or fresh air into his room. 

God may give a man the opportunity of great things, but 
only that is his which he takes into his own life. God may 
give a man the means of Grace, but only those graces ornament 
his spirit which are taken into the fiber of his soul. 

It is not what a man has but what he will do with it, which 
determines his value as a member of society. 

Persons on opposite sides of the street may walk as they 
please, but it is always wise to keep step with the companion 
at your elbow. A close touch demands the unselfish spirit 
which religion implants. 

The hero who meets his Gethsemane before the conflict 
never faints when the conflict is on. 

The primary purpose of prayer is to mold events. The 
secondary purpose is to mold us. If events cannot be recon- 
ciled to our plans, the same result may be attained if our plans 
can be reconciled to events. 

There are two ways to lighten a burden, one is to take it 



122 NUGGETS 

from our shoulders, the other is to strengthen our shoulders 
to bear It. 

A life that can bear its burden is richer than a life which 
has no burden. 

Strength to do is better than release from service. Courage 
to dare is better than to escape the conflict. 

There are Gethsemanes in all our lives. We all pass through 
the garden in the midst of the night. In most lives the Geth- 
semane is harder than the cross. The mental anguish exceeds 
the physical pain. 

Because the thing we ask for is not given is no sign that our 
prayer is not heard. God has some better thing for us. 



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